Southampton worked hard to offload a number of fringe players in the summer transfer window, and the New Year could see them adopt a similar approach.
Saints have a considerably large first-team group, but only a handful of players have genuinely impressed this season, with the side currently sitting in the relegation zone.
Ralph Hasenhuttl may be keen for the club to invest in some new faces, but given the well-publicised ‘sell to buy’ ethos under the ownership of Gao Jisheng, it could be a case of trimming the squad before strengthening it.
There are plenty of players who have underperformed this season, and it would appear as though the manager has lost faith in some of them.
However, finding suitors for these out-of-form figures is easier said than done, particularly midway through the campaign.
So, just who could be on their way out of St Mary’s during the January transfer window next month? We’ve picked out some who may seek pastures new.
Cedric has been vocal about his desire to leave in the summer. However, this would be on a free transfer, and Saints should aim to cash in at the turn of the year. He’s been very poor of late and replacing him would be a smart move.
Vestergaard has fallen out of favour under Hasenhuttl, it would seem, and he may be out to secure first-team football elsewhere. Saints have five senior centre-backs on their books, and they may be tempted to replace the Denmark international in January.
Long has been in Hasenhuttl’s plans in recent weeks, but he is another whose contract comes to an end in the summer. At 32-years-old, and with an uncertain future ahead of him, it would be understandable if he were to pursue a move away to guarantee more regular game time.
This one is a bit of a curveball… Danso is only on loan at Saints, and although the club have an option to sign him permanently in the summer, he doesn’t appear to be held in particularly high esteem by Hasenhuttl.
His last appearance came in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup, while he most recently featured in the league as a substitute during Saints’ 9-0 loss to Leicester City in October. He’s a young player who isn’t playing games, and it’s hard to see a reason for him to stick around at the moment.