A 4-0 drubbing of Arsenal aside, the festive period for Southampton has handed the club and the supporters very little Christmas cheer.
In a topsy-turvy Premier League season, Saints are possibly looking over their shoulder at the relegation zone... but with one eye on the top half if their form can be turned around!
With that in mind, getting one or two players can make all the difference, and the St Mary's Musings writers were asked what positions could do with a little TLC (Transfer Lovin' Care), and which individuals may feel their time on the Red and White part of the South Coast is up. Here are their answers!
George Galpin (@)
A striker is an absolute must for me. The last time one of Dušan Tadić, Graziano Pellè or Sadio Mané scored in the league was November 7th, which is absolutely criminal from a front three for a club hoping to be in the top half. Shane Long has come in and had a stormer against Arsenal, but as useful an option he is, he is not clinical enough nor does he really fit as the lone striker in Koeman's favoured 4-3-3.
In terms of the ideal forward for me, I'd like someone with the speed to make defenders wary to play a high line but can take chances too. Sadly, it sounds like Jay Rodriguez, but he's injured. Hopefully the black box can be given a thud and that kind of striker can be found.
I wouldn't be averse to Victor Wanyama going if we could find a replacement, but Koeman seems to have quashed that happening until the summer. Maybe Sam Gallagher returning from loan could mean Ryan Seager going out on loan if the former doesn't head out on loan again, and perhaps Paulo Gazzaniga could do with regular gametime elsewhere for six months.
Daniel Vaughan (@)
A striker - Charlie Austin.
We have been crying out for adequate back up to our striker for years now. Austin would not only fit the bill as a target man, a goal scorer and someone with a point to prove, but I also believe we could afford him (despite Ronald's recent comments suggesting otherwise!) and that he would make a huge difference...
Caulker, because he looks way out of his depth for me, and Gaston, which is infuriating given the cost..
Tommy Scott: (@)
A striker- I know Austin is a popular choice, however I cannot say that I've seen him play very often so I can't say how much he would add. I'm going to be biased here and say I want Cyle Larin in Southampton one day, that day probably isn't in this month though. Cyle Larin was MLS Rookie of The Year last season with Orlando City, is a good target man and can finish. He is 20, scored 17 goals in 27 league games and has scored 4 times for Canada. He's not Premier League ready, but watch him go abroad in the next few years.
Nicolai Jorgensen from Denmark is another guy who I dream to see play for Southampton. He's 24 and has scored 29 goals in 75 appearances. Realistically, I have no clue who Southampton may sign because that black box knows names that are unknown to normal watchers of the game.
Positions other than striker? I could see another defender (CB), preferably someone to take over for Jose in the future, but I do realize that we've got Florin Gardos coming back. I would even be fine with another winger.
Gaston and Caulker for sure, just wasted space and money to have them hanging around. I know I'm gonna be hated for this, but I'm not completely against having Victor Wanyama sold. I think Harrison Reed, JWP, Romeu and Clasie can do a fine job in defensive midfield. Cash in while you can, I suppose. Manè would be a little tougher to let go without a ready replacement.
Jake Hughes (@)
Where do I start? But, then I would like a smattering of new blood across the whole team.
Realistically, I feel like our defence is OK enough to stave off the relegation fight - especially with Fraser Forster to return.
A lot is made of Saints needing a new striker, a line of thinking which certainly has its merits. But, I really think we need to sign a quality attacking midfielder to slot in behind Pelle/Long to become a definitive creative force for our attack - something we've lacked since the loss of Adam Lallana (despite him playing out wide).
I also think we need to look at some wide attacking talent to provide competition for Mane and Tadic with the former stagnating and the latter f**king frustrating. Despite their obvious flaws, last year's January loan signings in Eljero Elia and Filip Djuricic provided some necessary cover and competition for our flagging forward line.
Like others, I wouldn't mind seeing the back of Victor Wanyama given his poor performances this season bar his one stand-out game against Arsenal. Why not cash in while over Premier League clubs still rate him? I do think Wanyama is a good player but, with the benefit of hindsight, it appears having Morgan Schneiderlin alongside him helped boost his position as a pivotal player in the Saints team.
Gaston Ramirez and Steven Caulker are gimmies, given their big-money contracts and lack of game time. But, I also wouldn't mind Dusan Tadic departing if we were to get a big bid for him. Just from interviewing fans of other clubs for the site, they all seem to really rate the Serb which, to me, is baffling. He's not a terrible player by any means. But, I wouldn't mind seeing Tadic leave just to help lower my blood pressure as I won't have to see him slam yet another cross/corner into the first man again.
Connor Armstrong (@)
Saints need to add to their attacking options. We shouldn't be counting on Jay Rodriguez at current, especially with his injury record. He needs time and may need to redefine himself as a player. Pellè and Long are both frustrating in their own ways, so I'd like to see another forward player who really comes to life within the 18-yard box.
Another creative midfielder wouldn't go amiss. Aside from Clasie and - at times - Steven Davis, we really struggle to open up teams with incisive passing and vision.
If we could recruit another domestic loan, I'd happily see the back of Steven Caulker. Disregarding his off-the-field antics, his performances have been acceptable at best and he really was noticeably awful in the 6-1 loss to Liverpool, which says it all really. I don't think I'd bother pushing anyone else out in January, but come the summer I'd like to see the back of Victor Wanyama so that Saints can start to move on and complete the rebuilding of the midfield unit.
David Williams (@)
A familiar moan amongst the fans that sit near me in the Kingsland is why isn't Ronald playing the kids any more. Our strike force has lacked a natural finisher since the departure of Sir Rick and Ryan Seager has been tearing up the the under 21s league for a few years now. He may not be the most impressive athlete but the kid can score. If we do need to strengthen from outside then I like Seydou Doumbia or Charlie Austin.
We also lack goals in midfield but Big Ron has already made it clear up front is the only place we are looking to add players.
I like Sadio a lot, he is our most dangerous player, but probably wouldn't turn down £30+ million if the rumoured bid from united isn't made up. Caulker seems surplus to requirements and I'm not sure if he is better than Florin Gardos, who thankfully will be back soon.