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THE SIX O'CLOCK MUSE: April 7th

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Our writers have been debating about our captain, Jose Fonte.

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As the ball sailed off Jose Fonte's foot towards Fraser Forster's top corner, only for the giant goalkeeper to get a hand to it, the sigh of relief that Fonte hadn't scored a rather incredible own-goal was huge.

Fonte has done well this season in Koeman's back-up formation of 3-5-2, but in a back-four the Portuguese centre-back has made a few errors. A red card against Sunderland is the most obvious, but there has been a few moments where the nerves of Saints fans have been tested.

Speculation of a move back to Portugal has surfaced recently, and whilst no one wants to see the inspirational captain leave the club, far from it, our writers have been asked:

Is Jose Fonte's place in the starting XI under threat, and if so should Saints look for a replacement?

Daniel Vaughan

Yes. Fonte's not past it yet but we need quality in there. I like Yoshida (at CB), unsure of Gardos but the squad needs more and we have the dough!

Tommy Scott


Yes, Fonte will start (if he hasn't already) on his decline with age and skill.
He's been one great servant for the club and should be respected, however once he can no longer do his duties, he should find himself in more of a Kelvin Davis role.

It would be nice if VVD was the future of this club, but that's hard to say as he could easily compete as the league's best CB in the coming years and could be lured away. So yes, Saints should be looking for a top replacement for Fonte to either start next year, or the year after.

George Galpin

Perhaps. Let me explain; Fonte has been a superb signing and for £1m he's been well and truly worth the money. He's been everything that was expected and more; the fact he went from a League One centre back to captain and Portuguese international says it all. The fact he seems to genuinely love Saints is something that means a lot to me as a fan, as I'm sure plenty others would agree.

But in a four man defence, and without Morgan Schneiderlin in front of him, he has been left a little exposed. It's no coincidence that his best displays have been in a back three with three midfielders in front of him. So for that reason, perhaps it's time a replacement for him should be at least sourced, if not bought.


David Williams


If we can keep them both over the summer then I don't want a Fonte replacement. Fonte's unbelievable will to win and Van Dijk's cool, calm excellence are a perfect foil for each other.

Reed has managed to find increasingly brilliant centre backs each summer. I didn't think we could top Alderweireld but somehow we have. If we can find someone better than VVD then I'm all for it. Not sure that human exists at the moment though!

When it comes to back up defenders I'm the opposite of Dan, still unsure of Yoshida but like the look of Gardos.

Jake Hughes


I don't see any pressing need, personally. I don't think Fonte has been any different than last season - solid but prone to the odd clanger.

What has to be remembered is Jose is not only a centre half, he's our captain. At present, I can't think of anyone suitable within the Saints squad to replace him in that capacity.

Has Fonte been THAT bad we have to think about displacing our captain? I don't think so.