25 Jan 2019 09:05:51
I've just read that RH wants to seriously trim the squad, he wants a squad of 18-20 apposed to our current 25 man squad, with youth players coming in when he needs them and I can't blame him, the fans cry out for more signings. However, we used the VVD money to sign like 4 players, none of which have really worked out. Listing our squad below, I've outlined the players that I think are safe and not safe. Let me know what you think:

GK - Forster - Not Safe
GK - McCarthy - Not Safe
GK - Gunn - Safe
RB- Cedric - Not Safe
RB - Valery - Not Safe
CB - Yoshida - Not Safe
CB - Vestergaard - Safe
CB - Stephens - Not Safe
CB - Bednarak - Safe
CB - Jones - Safe
LB - Targett - Safe
LB - Bertrand - Not Safe
LB - McQueen - Not Safe
CM - Romeu - Safe
CM - JWP - Safe
CM - Hojbjerg - Safe
CM - Lemina - Not safe
CM - Armstrong - Safe
CM - Hesketh - Safe
Wing - Redmond - Safe
Wing - Elyounoussi - Not Safe
Wing - Sims - Not safe
FW - Long - Not safe
FW - Ings - Safe
FW - Austin - Not safe
FW - Gallagher - Not safe

It's very pessimistic to look at our squad and think that none of them might not be good enough for what RH wants. Although, this is all based on my own opinion. And obviously we won't get rid of everyone that is not safe, but if offers come in for this players, I can't see us busting a gut to hold onto them.

1.) 25 Jan 2019
25 Jan 2019 10:23:53
If Reed and Carrillo were the only loanees to come back, and considering Ralph will want to make probably four major signings in the next year, I can see the following;

Forster (£6m), McCarthy (£9m), Cedric (£17m), Yoshida (£4m), Bertrand (£12m), Lemina (£30m), ElYounoussi (£8m), Austin (£5m), Long (£5m) . Add in to that Boufal, Davis, Clasie and Hoedt - although Clasie may be an interesting one - and there’s about £120m. They won’t all happen but wouldn’t that be nice.

Then by my count that leaves us with 13/ 14 senior players and multiple higher capable youth players who will excel under Ralph.

With that money and free wage bill space, I would then like us to sign;

A keeper - young, hungry - to challenge Gunn, for about £12m.
A CB - maybe a cheeky German Ralph knows for £20m.
A versatile full back - Maehle seems appropriate for now (£6m) .
An attacking wide player - we’ve been interested in Sisto for a long while however maybe someone else will be more realistic. Either way that will cost us near a club record fee ~£20m.
A goal scorer to support Carrillo, Ings - those that spring to mind feel unrealistic so I will leave that up to discussion. Again probably £20m.
That’s a spend of around £80m plus refilling our wage bill with probably a bit to spare, so around £40m in profit.

These may seem unrealistic with such a high turnover of players but if that’s what Ralph wants them make it happen - there’s a squad of 18-20 with youth players to fill in the gaps. One can dream.

2.) 25 Jan 2019
25 Jan 2019 11:34:50
I'd agree with all of those transfer fees. I wouldn't want to sell both GK's.

I don't know who we would bring in to do what RH wants. For a striker, I'd want someone with Shane Longs energy for the pressing, with a good finished. RH has rated Obafemi really higher and wants to approve him, in the fans forum last week he said at the moment he can only perform 2/ 3 high-intensity sprints a game to press but he wants 20 sprints per game out of him.

We'll see what RH actually wants from the squad, I don't think 5-3-2 is the formation he wants to play but is the formation he has to play because our defence isn't good enough.

I'd hope that Boufal shows the right attitude for RH, he's a bit older now, so could come on a bit as Redmond has. In his two seasons for us at times he has graced us with absolute raw talent and I'd want to see more of that. I love the showboating part of his game, but it rarely works, he just needs the right coaching and he could become a quality player.

A potential starting 11 next season

GK - Gunn
RB - Valery/ New signing
CB - Bednerak/ Stephens
CB - Vestergaard/ New signing
LB - Targett
CM - Romeu
CM - JWP/ Armstrong
LW - Boufal/ New signing
ST - Ings/ Carrillo/ Obafemi
RW - Redmond.

3.) 25 Jan 2019
25 Jan 2019 15:27:53
I can see him reverting to a back 4 with potentially his favoured 4-2-2-2 when he gets the players he wants. I like the current set up but I’ve never really seen saints as a back five kind of side.

I’d hope for similar;
GK Gunn
RB Maehle (or whoever is signed to replace Cedric)
CB Vestergaard
CB Bednarek
LB Targett (provided we sell Bertrand)
CM Hojbjerg
CM Romeu
RM Redmond
LM Boufal
ST Ings
ST Carrillo

That gives us competition in most places with a strong strong bench - McCarthy at GK, we maybe need to sign another full back for competition if Bertrand goes, a CB to challenge those we have, then JWP, Armstrong, Reed, Sims in the midfield and wide positions, plus Obafemi and hopefully another forward up front.

In a dream world I’d play JWP Armstrong and Redmond as AMs but I’m not sure 4-2-3-1 would suit us or Ralph - think we need a couple of attacking wingers to play off the striker so one of those three at least will have to miss out.

4.) 25 Jan 2019
25 Jan 2019 15:39:54
I think having a squad of only 18 is a stupid risk. 20, maybe. but it doesn't sound as though he's accounting for cup competition.

I agree that some more need to go, especially considering who we have out on loan deals with no guarantee of them being sold permanently.

I for me, 1 of forster/ McCarthy should go leaving the other to compete or back up for gunn.

Bertrand might go if a suitable offer comes In but I think he's missed the boat on that really. At least one centre half in with yoshida possibly going, although he is an ok back up.

Our midfield is good, but if someone offered big money for lemina I'd take it. I don't think he is as good people think he is. Certainly looks less interested in the games against lesser teams. So if he goes for 30-40 mill we could get some creativity in the middle. I would love it if RH could coach boufal into being a really good player. Would boufal jump on that train though? .

I think carillos saints career is over I'm afraid. Can't see him coming back. I think long will stick about. RH likes his work rate. Does Gallagher have it in him to challenge? If not, sell and replace. Austin will go and of the season, so we need a new striker to compete with ings, obafemi and long.

We need a left footed winger! With pace. Someone who offers different from cutting back inside every single time.

Would like to see hesketh come through. Not sure if sims has enough about him.

Harry reed. Make or break. Either at rb/ rwb or cm. Will he be given the opportunity and will he finally take it?

5.) 25 Jan 2019
25 Jan 2019 17:01:54
Left footed winger with pace? Is his name by any chance Josh Sims?

6.) 25 Jan 2019
25 Jan 2019 17:54:31
I think he likes Shane, and so do I very hard worker. Also keep Sims.

7.) 25 Jan 2019
25 Jan 2019 18:32:07
Sims is right footed isn't he? .

8.) 26 Jan 2019
25 Jan 2019 23:34:15
I think he's predominantly left footed but able to play on either wing which could keep him in RHs thoughts.