Wednesday 20 September 2017

Bosses' anger at missing stars

Southampton 0 Swansea City 0

Mauricio Pellegrino, Manager of Southampton and Paul Clement, Manager of Swansea City direct their teams Photo: Getty
Mauricio Pellegrino, Manager of Southampton and Paul Clement, Manager of Swansea City direct their teams Photo: Getty

Nick Purewal

Southampton and Swansea's bosses hit out at their wantaway stars short-changing supporters by missing yesterday's Premier League season opener at St Mary's. Saints wasted chances in a goalless draw with Swansea, where Virgil Van Dijk and Gylfi Sigurdsson were conspicuous by their absence.

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino and Swansea manager Paul Clement both admitted their clubs and supporters are missing out while their top stars remain out of action. Saints defender Van Dijk officially sat out with a virus, but continues to agitate for a transfer, while Swansea have opted not to select Sigurdsson, as he edges ever closer to a big-money move to Everton.

Cedric Soares of Southampton tackles Jordan Ayew of Swansea City Photo: Getty
Cedric Soares of Southampton tackles Jordan Ayew of Swansea City Photo: Getty

Asked if everyone loses out when transfer sagas keep the best talent off the pitch, Swansea boss Clement replied: "Fans, team-mates, coaches, the viewers all around the world; absolutely."

Dutch centre back Van Dijk could well end up at Liverpool by the end of this transfer window. If Philippe Coutinho forces through his move to Barcelona from Liverpool, then the Reds are likely to raise their bid for Van Dijk.

New Saints boss Pellegrino has inherited the club's latest transfer tug-of-war, and conceded that such scenarios are no good for the game. "I can't manage all the situations like some players being outside the team; it's not my responsibility," said Pellegrino. "But it's a pity because the people deserve to see the best players in the pitch."

When quizzed on links to Stoke's Joe Allen, Clement replied: "I'm not going to speak about incoming players. The only situation that's important at the moment is the Sigurdsson transfer situation."

Oriol Romeu of Southampton and Tammy Abraham of Swansea City battle for possession Photo: Getty
Oriol Romeu of Southampton and Tammy Abraham of Swansea City battle for possession Photo: Getty

Sunday Indo Sport

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport