Southampton's shock £108m summer transfer window as Roma and Borussia Dortmund stars join in bold prediction

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How Southampton's plans for the summer transfer window have been predicted, ahead of their Premier League return

The celebrations had barely quietened down by the time Southampton began planning for their return to the Premier League.

A goal from former Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers striker Adam Armstrong was enough to see off Leeds United in the Championship play-off final, as the Saints ensured their second tier stay was limited to just one solitary season under the famous Wembley arch. But what comes next for Russell Martin as he looks to re-establish the club in English football’s top flight?

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There are, of course, major decisions to be made over the likes of Che Adams and Alex McCarthy, who are both coming to the end of their current deals at St Mary’s and the likes of Armel Bella-Kotchap, Lyanco and Duje Caleta-Car will all return from loan spells elsewhere during the summer months. New signings will be made to boost a Saints squad that will require more quality and depth to cope with life at a higher level.

But how could things play out? We here at 3AddedMinutes could not wait to find out so we fired up Football Manager 2024 to see how the world’s most popular managerial simulation predicts the Saints will act in the transfer market during the summer months.


There is little change in the goalkeeping department as Gavin Bazanu’s return to fitness sees the Republic of Ireland international re-establish himself as Martin’s number one stopper. However, that also means an end to Alex McCarthy’s time as a Saint as he leaves the club at the end of his contract and joins Everton on a free transfer. Joe Lumley and Mateusz Lis will provide support and competition to Bazanu.

Martin’s goalkeeping options: Joe Lumley, Gavin Bazanu, Mateusz Lis.

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Now there are changes here and the main one is the addition of three new defenders at a cost of £25m. Firstly, there is a £3m swoop for Roma full-back Rick Karsdorp before Martin strengthens the left-hand side of his defence with a £7m deal for Borussia Dortmund youngster Tom Rothe.

But the biggest defensive deal is completed when Wout Faes is secured in a £15m move from fellow Premier League newcomers Leicester City. Armel Bella-Kotchap and Lyanco both return from loans to reclaim a place in the Saints squad - but there are departures for Duje Caleta-Car (£3m Lyon), Juan Larios (Brentford £7m), Romain Perraud (£1m Espanyol) and James Bree (£3m Luton Town).

Martin’s defensive options: Lyanco, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Jan Bednarek, Wout Faes, Kyle Walker-Peters, Tom Rothe, Rick Karsdorp.


Firstly, there are just two midfield departures as Joe Aribo heads to Italy to join Genoa in a £4m deal and Stuart Armstrong is released. His replacement is Real Mallorca’s Sergi Darder, who agrees to a £16m move to St. Mary’s. There are two other new additions in the middle of the pitch as Josh DaSilva joins in a £5m deal from Brentford and Alex Kral is secured on a free transfer after the Czech international left CSKA Moscow.

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Martin’s midfield options: Alex Kral, Josh DaSilva, Sergi Darder, Shea Charles, Will Smallbone.


Former Newcastle United target Hugo EkitikeFormer Newcastle United target Hugo Ekitike
Former Newcastle United target Hugo Ekitike | Getty Images

Now, where to start here? Firstly, it’s safe to say Martin will not be short of options at the top end of the pitch. Paul Onuachu has departed on a permanent transfer after Italian club Cagliari agreed to pay £3.5m for the frontman.

There is also a loan departure for Ross Stewart as he heads to Celtic on a season-long loan that could become a £5m permanent move next summer and Che Adams leaves on a free transfer and is still without a club.

However, there are still plenty of options for the Saints boss as he brings in Gabriel Sara (£22m Norwich City), Alexander Aravena (£3m Univ Catolica), Fedde de Jong (£2.5m Cambuur), Hugo Ekitike (£5m Eintracht Frankfurt) and Franck Surdez (£2m from AA Gent). Carlos Alcaraz also returns to the Saints squad after a long spell with Serie A giants Juventus.

Martin’s forward options: Gabriel Sara, Sam Edozie, Fedde de Jong, Kamaldeen Sulemana, Franck Surdez, Adam Armstrong, Hugo Ekitike, Alexander Aravena, Sekou Mara, Carlos Alcarez.

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