Southampton are ready to battle it out with newly promoted Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers for the signature of Joe Hart, as per recent reports. The 31-year-old is due to return to his parent club Manchester City this summer, after unsuccessful loan spells at Torino and West Ham United in the past couple of seasons.
Joe Hart also suffered a huge heartbreak earlier this week, as he was left out of the England squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup. England head coach Garry Southgate axed the 75 times capped ‘keeper in favour of rookies Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope, which was admittedly ‘hard to take’ for the former Shrewsbury custodian.
Joe Hart was one of England’s key players in the past, having represented his country in between the sticks for the last three competitive international tournaments.
Despite his massive deterioration in the last couple of seasons, Hart might be handed a lifeline with Southampton and Wolves reportedly battling over his signature this summer.
Southampton, in particular, should be keen to secure the services of an experienced keeper this summer, following a wretched display this campaign. The Saints ended the season in the seventeenth spot, just three points ahead of the relegated Swansea and Stoke City respectively.
Even though Southampton have conceded fewer goals as compared to the clubs in the bottom half of the table, their lack of stability in between the sticks has been a key reason behind their demise this campaign. First choice keeper Fraser Forster has failed to make a long-lasting impression, since joining the club in 2014 and was rightfully replaced by Alex McCarthy in the second half of this season.
That being said, the Saints might be in need of someone who can instil confidence in the defensive backline. Hart, therefore, could be an ideal candidate for Southampton, largely thanks to his broad experience of playing in the English top flight which is coupled with his exposure of playing on the international stage as well.
Furthermore, Joe Hart is also a much cheaper option as compared to other overpriced ‘keepers in the league. The Manchester City goalkeeper has already shown what he is capable of, for both club and country in the past and banking on this experienced operator in between the sticks might be a step in the right direction for a Southampton club, who more often than not, rely on the performances of their younger players.