"The Saints should consider... " - Southampton respond to £7 million bid from Sheffield United: The Verdict | OneFootball

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Football League World

·10 August 2023

"The Saints should consider... " - Southampton respond to £7 million bid from Sheffield United: The Verdict

Article image:"The Saints should consider... " - Southampton respond to £7 million bid from Sheffield United: The Verdict

This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Southampton have rejected a bid from Premier League side Sheffield United for midfielder Will Smallbone.

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That is according to The Athletic, who report that the bid rejected by the Saints was believed to be worth £7 million.

Smallbone is thought to be seen as a potential replacement for Sander Berge after he left Blades to join Burnley while the report claims that though he is a player Martin is keen on, a breakthrough has not been reached in new contract talks.

The midfielder was mentioned in regards to having interest from the Premier League and Championship a few weeks ago and that has now been confirmed.

Smallbone spent last season on loan at Stoke City but returned to his parent club this summer and started in the club’s 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday on Friday.

But it now seems his future at St. Mary’s is very much up in the air heading into the final couple of weeks of the transfer window.

Should Southampton do all they can to keep Will Smallbone amid Sheffield United bid?

While we wait to see if Sheffield United are going to return with another bid for the midfielder, some writers at Football League World have shared their thoughts on what Southampton should do when it comes to Smallbone.

Brett Worthington

Given that James Ward-Prowse is set to leave the club and fellow midfielder Romeo Lavia is also looking like a likely departure, Southampton find themselves in a position where they don’t necessarily need to sell any more players.

There is no financial burden on the club, so when teams come knocking like Sheffield United have for Will Smallbone, they can demand what they want, and if that isn’t met, then there is no worry.

However, given that Smallbone spent last season away from the club and is now in the final year of his contract, it may get to a point where the club needs to consider whether an offer is too good to turn down.

As mentioned, two midfielders are likely to leave the club, so Southampton need to make sure they have good options in that area of the pitch. Smallbone is a very good option to have in the Championship, as he showed at Stoke last season how well he can perform.

He started the game against Sheffield Wednesday and will no doubt be looked at as a member of Russell Martin’s team going forward. But given his contract situation, if Sheffield United were to return with an improved and satisfactory offer, then the Saints should consider moving him on.

Ned Holmes

Southampton should be doing all they can to keep hold of Will Smallbone, in my eyes.

The midfielder impressed on loan with Stoke City last season and showed exactly what he can do in the Saints' opener against Sheffield Wednesday - playing the deeper midfield role that is so important to what Russell Martin wants to do.

He's a proven player at Championship level and could well play a central role in the promotion push this season.

With Romeo Lavia and James Ward-Prowse both likely to depart before the window closes, Martin can't afford to lose another strong midfield option - even if, as expected, Flynn Downes joins the club on loan.

Looking beyond just this season, the 23-year-old has a bright future ahead and is just the sort of player that could help them re-establish themselves in the Premier League - assuming they can get there of course.

His contract does expire next summer but given some of the other expected sales, that shouldn't force Southampton to consider letting him go in a cut-price deal.

I find it hard to believe that if he continues to play a central role for Martin and the team are successful, he wouldn't want to extend his stay at St Mary's.

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