Southampton Tipped To Complete Signing Of £12 Million Star

Southampton take on Swansea City today at the St. Mary’s Stadium as head coach Russell Martin faces his former club for the first time since leaving the Welsh outfit during the summer.

A win or a draw today on Boxing Day would extend the Saints’ unbeaten run to 16 in the Championship as Martin’s side look to continue piling pressure on Ipswich Town and Leicester City in the automatic promotion places.

Southampton have recovered from a dreadful run of results back in September where the club lost four games on the bounce against fellow promotion rivals Sunderland, Ipswich, Leicester and Middlesbrough and are currently sitting seven points above the top two.

One player who has been key to Southampton’s superb run of form since the start of October has been Flynn Downes, who joined the club on a season-long loan at the beginning of the campaign from West Ham United.

Downes has made 17 appearances so far for the Saints and registered two assists. Like Martin, Downes is facing his former club today in Swansea City, having moved to the Hammers for a reported £12 million in 2022.

Nevertheless, the midfielder struggled to receive much game-time at the London Stadium and saw just 753 minutes of action which was spread across 21 matches, although he did pick up a Europa Conference League winners’ medal back in June.

However, in a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT, journalist Dean Jones has backed Southampton to secure Downes’ services permanently by the end of the season:

“I actually think it’s looking positive for Saints in terms of signing him. The way he’s improving and the way he’s playing is fitting with what they promised when he was signed. Now, West Ham will have an eye on this situation and be judging whether he can fit into what they’re doing.

“But you do also wonder whether West Ham are starting to move beyond it and that Southampton is going to be a better fit for Downes.

“Whether they’re at the top end of the Championship or back in the Premier League, obviously being back in the Premier League I think does give them the best opportunity of signing him. I think it’d be a great signing. And if the second half of the season goes well, and he feels part of it, I think his head might start to wonder whether that’s where he should be.”

Writer’s View

It was made clear during the summer that West Ham no longer required the services of Downes, even though the club had lost captain Declan Rice in the same window, as the midfielder was still sent out on loan to the recently relegated side.

However, one man’s loss is another man’s gain and if Downes continues to perform on the south coast, Southampton should definitely look to make the move permanent, although there is no option-to-buy clause in his contract, meaning West Ham hold all the cards.

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About Adam Scully 655 Articles
Deputy Head of Writing

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