An ex-PL star, however, thrilled his home fans in a Pride Park debut, facing top flight competition.
Derby County 3-0 Southampton
Frank Lampard is the new Rams’ boss, and his first home match was a win over Premier League competition.
“Lamps” got two goals from Tom Lawrence, and another from Mason Bennett as Saints fell by three. It was Southampton’s first match since returning from a China trip which saw a draw with Schalke and a defeat of Jiangu Suning.
Tau, who has five goals in 12 caps, will reportedly join Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League if a medical goes well, with Sky Sports saying it’ll will be the biggest transfer fee yet for a South African Premier League player.
Yoshinori Muto could be bringing his 25 caps to the Premier League.
The 26-year-old striker made just one appearance at the World Cup, but has had a nice run with Mainz since joining from FC Tokyo. He’s bagged 23 goals in 71 appearances.
A Bild report says there have been no formal offers for Muto, but that Newcastle United and West Ham are interested in the striker. Newcastle badly needs a striker, but West Ham has been spending money and Magpies owner Mike Ashley hasn’t green lit much in recent seasons.
Brighton & Hove Albion has secured the signing of Lille midfielder Yves Bissouma, the club confirmed on Tuesday.
According to some reports, the transfer could potentially become the club record signing, set back in January with the signing of striker Jurgen Locadia. The Mirror states that the deal, with add-ons, could reach as high as $22.3 million, with Locadia’s record currently sitting at $18 million. However, the BBC is reporting that the Bissouma deal will fall just short of Locadia’s record.
Bissouma, a 21-year-old, already has 13 caps for Mali on the senior international level, with three goals. He made 24 Ligue 1 appearances for Lille last season, scoring two goals and assisting one other, and grabbed another goal in Coupe de France play.
“It’s the dream of every player to come and play in the Premier League. They said it’s different to Ligue 1 – but you see that on the TV. [The players I spoke to] said it’s quite physical, quite difficult but it’s the best league in the world, that says it all. To be a big player you have to prove yourself in the big leagues and that is what pushed me a bit to come here.”
Bissouma becomes Brighton’s sixth signing of the season, with Fulham goalkeeper David Button coming in on Monday. They also snagged RB Leipzig full-back Bernardo and striker Florin Andone from Deportivo la Coruna.
Final place: 20th with 31 points (relegated to Championship) Defining moment: Hiring Alan Pardew and then winning just one of their next 21 PL games. Biggest victory: Away at Manchester United 1-0 to not only keep their survival hopes alive for a few more games but also hand the PL title to Man City. Low point: A stretch of eight-straight defeats from February to March when all but ended any hope of survival. Star man: Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon was a beast up top, scored 10 goals in all competitions and has a $25 million release clause in his contract so we will likely see him in the Premier League next season. Manager(s) marks out of 10: Tony Pulis (4/10), Alan Pardew (1/10), Darren Moore (7/10) Grade for the season: F
Final place: 19th with 33 points (relegated to Championship) Defining moment: The worst defensive record in the league, a 7-2 hammering at Man City underlined just how bad this Stoke defense was. Yes, they were playing City, but the way they were dismantled unearthed all of their issues. Biggest victory: Not many to choose from but it was probably the early season 1-0 win at home against Arsenal as Jese scored the winner. Man, that seems like a long time ago. Low point: They got ahead several times in games late in the campaign but couldn’t hold onto leads. Specifically the way they crumbled to lose at home to Palace, after leading, stands out. Jack Butland‘s tears will be the enduring image of a sad, sad season. Star man: There is no way Xherdan Shaqiri will still be at Stoke next season and a big World Cup for the Swiss winger should seal a move elsewhere in the PL or to a top club overseas. He had eight goals and seven assists but couldn’t drag the Potters to safety. Manager(s) marks out of 10: Mark Hughes (3/10), Paul Lambert (2/10) Grade for the season: F
Final place: 18th with 33 points (relegated to the Championship) Defining moment: Following their 4-1 win against West Ham, it seemed as though everyone at Swansea relaxed after their shocking start to the season. The Swans rose to 13th and everything was looking rosy. Biggest victory: Beating Liverpool at home in January was a huge boost and the Swans were in full flow at that point after Carvalhal’s arrival in late December. They beat Arsenal in the next home game and had a run of four wins in six as they looked almost safe from relegation… Low point: Losing at home to Southampton in the final week of the season. A draw would’ve probably done the trick but the Swans didn’t show up and all but sealed their fate by losing 1-0. Star man: Lukasz Fabianski was a machine in goal all season long as the Polish international was in tears on the final day once relegated had been confirmed. Manager(s) marks out of 10: Paul Clement (3/10), Carlos Carvalhal (5/10) Grade for the season: F
Final place: 17th with 36 points Defining moment: Beating Bournemouth at home with four games to go reignited hope they could save themselves from relegation. Mark Hughes had liftoff after being put in charge for the final eight games of the season as nobody really gave Saints a chance. Biggest victory: The win away at Swansea during the final week of the season in what had basically become a relegation playoff. Saints held their nerve and Manolo Gabbiadini‘s late strike all-but secured their safety. The relief on the face of Hughes and his players at the final whistle said it all. Low point: A run of just one win in 21 games under Mauricio Pellegrino as the club stuck with the Argentine coach as long as they could but the players just never responded to his defensive tactics. Star man: Alex McCarthy came in midway through the season to replace Fraser Forster in goal and didn’t put a foot wrong as he was crowned Southampton’s player of the season. Dusan Tadic was also big down the stretch with his two goals against Bournemouth crucial. Manager(s) marks out of 10: Mauricio Pellegrino (2/10), Mark Hughes (8/10) Grade for the season: D
Final place: 16th with 37 points Defining moment: Digging deep to draw 0-0 at both Manchester City and Chelsea in the final week of the season to secure their status in the Premier League. Remarkable resolve. Biggest victory: Beating Manchester United at home early in the season gave David Wagner‘s men plenty of belief that they belonged in the top-flight. Low point: A run of five-straight defeats in January and early February which saw them slump from midtable into the relegation zone. Star man: Jonas Lossl must get a shout out for his performances in goal, especially late in the season, but throughout the campaign Aaron Mooy was the man who made the Terriers tick. They missed him badly when he was out injured. Manager marks out of 10: David Wagner (9/10) Grade for the season: A
Brighton & Hove Albion
Final place: 15th with 40 points Defining moment: Three home wins on the spin in February and March which culminated by beating Arsenal. Chris Hughton‘s side were almost safe from that point on. Biggest victory: Beating Manchester United at home in the final week of the season to finally secure PL safety. Low point: Four defeats in five around November/December time which saw the Seagulls drop back into the relegation discussion. That was pretty much it. Star man:Pascal Gross had a fine season with the German playmaker scoring seven goals and added eight assists, while you have to applaud the defensive duo of Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk at the heart of the Seagulls defense. Manager marks out of 10: Chris Hughton (8/10) Grade for the season: B+