June 25, 2024

Southampton boost as ‘monstrous’ £12m Russell Martin target now surplus to requirements

Southampton remain locked in a battle to escape the Championship at the first time of asking, but that hasn’t stopped them from planning for the summer.

Southampton were gearing up for their Championship clash against Preston North End last night until a fire next to the ground caused the game to be postponed.

It means the Saints, following three defeats in their last five matches, are still eight points behind second-place Ipswich Town.

After creating history by going 24 matches unbeaten in the second tier, Russell Martin’s men have stuttered at the worst time in the race for promotion.

With a lot of ground to eat up, automatic promotion hopes are fading by the second while their saving grace could be playing promotion rivals Leicester City, Leeds United and Ipswich in three of their final 11 matches.

Martin’s full focus is on achieving promotion to the Premier League, whether that is automatically or through the play-offs, while he has been dealt the positive news that Flynn Downes is surplus to requirements at West Ham.

Flynn Downes is surplus to requirements at West Ham

Following their time together at Swansea City, Downes linked up with Martin for the second time in the summer as he joined on loan from the Hammers.

The 25-year-old has played 25 times in the Championship term and while he has only supplied three goal contributions, he has brought real energy and dynamism to the Saints midfield.

It was reported by the Athletic that Southampton will prioritise a move for the Englishman in the summer and their chances of achieving that have now been increased.

A reliable of West Ham News, Claret and Hugh, has revealed that Downes is surplus to requirements at the London Stadium and could depart in the summer.

Downes was captured from Swansea for £12 million in July 2022 and after making just 25 appearances, could join St Mary’s permanently.

Sources: West Ham greenlight Southampton loan for Flynn Downes with  deciding factor revealed

Flynn Downes’ Saints statistics

Downes was hailed as “monstrous” by Martin earlier on in the season and the Southampton boss rates him highly.

On the evidence of his performances in red and white, it is clear to see why as it’s slotted perfectly into the managers’ possession-orientated system by boasting an impressive 79.65 passes per game at a completion rate of 94.1%.

As highlighted by FBref, this ranks him in the top 3% and 1% of midfielders in this Championship this term.

Downes’s combative nature, perhaps paying ode to the “monstrous” description, has been equally important with the former Swansea star placing in the top 7% for interceptions per 90.

Regardless of what division Southampton end up in next season, Downes is a player they are right to prioritise signing and this latest update from a West Ham perspective gives them a huge boost.

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