Les Reed

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Southampton part ways with vice-chairman Les Reed

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Following a 17th-place finish in the Premier League last season, and an equally poor start to the current campaign, something of a shakeup to the power structure is underway at Southampton.

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The club announced on Thursday that it has parted company with vice-chairman Les Reed.

Chairman Ralph Krueger said in a statement that the club needs “new drive and direction to our football operations team [to] enable them to get results back on track.”

Reed had been at Southampton for eight years and oversaw the period in which Saints won promotion from League One to the Championship, from the Championship to the PL, and reached the 2017 League Cup final. As the club’s head of the youth academy, as well as scouting and recruitment, Reed has been responsible for both the development of Saints’ many academy products to have been sold on for tens — if not hundreds — of millions of dollars, as well as the reinvestment of that very transfer revenue.

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Krueger’s statement in full:

“I would like to go on record to thank Les for the eight years of hard work and dedication he has given Southampton Football Club. His time at the club will be remembered for the fine work he did in overseeing our progress through the divisions and establishing the club in the Premier League.

“The process of recruiting the right individual to head up our football operations is under way, and is a decision that needs to be given the necessary time and attention that reflects what an important position it is within our club.

“Now, more than ever, we are grateful for the continued support of our staff and fans as we work towards our joint aim of moving up the table.”

Southampton lands $19 million Dutch CB Hoedt

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Southampton’s added another defender who checks all the boxes, and used its press release to cement its status on the future of want-away center back Virgil Van Dijk.

Saints added Lazio center back Wesley Hoedt on Tuesday, with the reported fee in the neighborhood of $19 million for the 4-times capped Dutch international.

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The 6-foot-4 defender is 23 years old, and played 23 matches for i Biancocelesti last season.

Here’s Saints vice chairman Les Reed:

“Finding a naturally left-footed player is even more difficult. We have been tracking central defenders on our target list for the past 12 months and Wesley has always been at the top of that list, so it was important to act when the opportunity came.”

As our own Joe Prince-Wright pointed out, Saints aren’t exactly rolling out the red carpet for Van Dijk’s departure.

Saints also have Maya Yoshida — who won a penalty for Saints this weekend — Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida, Jan Bednarek and Florin Gardos in their corps.

Will Van Dijk stay? Betting sites have him at 5:6 odds to stay at Southampton, but somehow 1:1 to join Liverpool and 7:1 to head to Chelsea (Man City gets 24:1 odds).

At this point, we’d love to see Van Dijk stay and buck the summer’s (actually much longer than that) gossip as Saints fight for a Top Six place.