Opinion: 3 Southampton players who might see the exit door this summer

Southampton were flirting with the relegation zone for a major chunk of the previous campaign and at the end, merely five points separated them from the drop zone.

After such a narrow escape which was sparked by a phase of excellent run under Ralph Hasenhuttl, a number of changes to the squad seem inevitable.

The club’s new executive board are already looking to offload some senior first team players to make adequate room for new signings, it has been claimed by The Telegraph.

The report further states that Southampton are determined to enhance the quality of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad after the tumultuous chain of events in the previous campaign.

Considering the recent developments, here are three players who might be shown the exit door this summer by Southampton as they look to restructure the squad.

Alex McCarthy

The goalkeeping position was a major headache for Southampton especially in the initial stages of the season. Alex McCarthy was a disappointment in particular and could face the axe in the ongoing transfer window as Fraser Forster’s high wages might stand in the way of his exit.

McCarthy started the previous term as the first-choice custodian but struggled to impress. He was shambolic at times with his distribution and there were occasional lapses of concentration from him.

Besides, he was not up to the mark while dealing with the crosses and found it difficult to make saves from close range. Due to his poor form between the sticks, Angus Gunn was used from February onwards and is likely to continue as the No.1.

Jack Stephens

Central defender Jack Stephens was not up to the mark last season.

His tackling was far from decent and he flattered to deceive with his positional awareness as well. The 25-year-old also found it hard to find a footing against oppositions who attacked with pace.

To improve their credentials, Southampton do need to fix the loopholes in defence. In such a scenario, striking Stephens off their books and bringing a proven defender could be beneficial for them next season and is unlikely to come as a surprise.

Charlie Austin

Apart from his heroics in his side’s 3-2 win over Arsenal, striker Charlie Austin did very little to please the fans. It is not surprising to see him getting linked to Sheffield United and an exit from St. Mary’s might be on the cards.

In 25 appearances, Austin managed to bag just a couple of goals to his name. As a senior striker, a lot more was expected from him but he was largely ineffective in his endeavours in the final third.

He lost possession easily and his passing hardly justifies his presence in a side who aim to finish in the Top 10. Besides, there was a notable absence of offside awareness from him and he was also criticized for his lack of athleticism.

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