Reed looking to limit Southampton's January transfer activity

Reed looking to limit Southampton's January transfer activity

The executive director is taking a cautious approach to any business this window, regarding both buying and selling players.

Kit Shepard

Southampton executive director Les Reed is expecting a relatively quiet transfer window, with very few comings and goings on the South Coast.

The former Charlton manager is wary of making hasty purchases in the middle of the season, and is also adamant that star player Virgil Van Dijk will not be going anywhere this January.

The need for reinforcements

To almost everyone involved with Southampton besides Reed, new signings are an absolute necessity for the club this transfer window. The lack of acquisitions in the summer meant the Saints began the new season with a squad that would ultimately prove too thin to compete in both European and domestic competition, and the recent poor run of form has left fans demanding fresh faces immediately.

Southampton seem particularly light in the striker position, with manager Claude Puel only having three recognised strikers at his disposal. One of these is Charlie Austin, who will be out nursing a dislocated shoulder for the foreseeable future.

The inadequate firepower up front has been displayed time and time again for the Saints in the first half of their campaign, with dominating performances regularly not leading to victories due to poor finishing. Unsurprisingly, Puel's side have the worst shots to goal percentage in the Premier League, finding the net with just 9% of their efforts.

As well as the goal-scoring issues; other injuries, poor individual performances and transfer requests have left Southampton seemingly in desperate need of multiple signings as soon as possible.

Reed sees it differently

Yet despite the distinct lack of strength in depth, Reed has pledged that he will not be rushed into any unnecessary deals this January. He described this transfer window as a "panic window" and stated that "Our focus is that we don't panic and we are not tempted to patch things up".

Reed did not completely rule out the possibility of new signings, expressing that the club is "open minded" and "if an opportunity did arise and we could improve the squad then we would consider it on its merits at the time".

Nevertheless, any deals that do happen will be done "quietly", and rely on "availability, and availability at the right price, and whether the player would come to the club".

Despite Reed appearing to be reluctant to bring in any new players, the Southampton faithful will be hoping that some business is done before the end of the month to lift them out of their current predicament.

Van Dijk not for sale

On a more positive and definitive note for fans around St Mary's Virgil Van Dijk, Southampton's best player by a street this season, will not be going anywhere this January. Reed simply declared that "Virgil is not for the sale" and that "we wouldn't consider" any bids that may come in because it "doesn't make sense" to let him go halfway through the campaign.

With the Dutch centre-back being labelled as one of the best defenders in the league, Reed's definitive report of his transfer status will put to rest any concerns on the South Coast that the 25-year-old is on his way.