Another transfer window, another player headed from Southampton to Liverpool. This time around, things even went rather smoothly—more Rickie Lambert than Dejan Lovren. And according to Southampton director of football Les Reed, getting the deal done quickly was a priority.
"With Nathaniel’s contract entering its final year, it was important that his future was resolved this summer," Reed told Saints’ official website following Clyne’s sale. "With Cedric Soares now in place and it becoming clear that Nathaniel did not wish to extend his deal, we were keen to swiftly move on early in our pre-season schedule."
It was clear Southampton were prepared to sell Clyne when Soares arrived for £5M last month. The latest in a long line of thoroughly scouted bargain-buys, Soares was down to a year left on his deal at Sporting just as was the case with Clyne at Southampton, and he looks likely to become a major hit for Southampton.
Having pushed his way into the Portugal squad over the current qualification round, the 23-year-old is a rising talent with great potential. There is a risk in his purchase, though—more of a risk that in Liverpool paying two-and-a-half times the fee for the far more proven Clyne. Still, he looks a very solid signing for the south coast club.
And whatever happens for Soares at Southampton and Clyne at Liverpool, it’s good for both clubs to have gotten the deals done early and with a minimum of fuss—particularly after some of the teeth-gnashing dramatics of last summer and early signs the Clyne deal might become a similarly unpleasant saga.
"We have now been able to conclude our negotiations with Liverpool," added Reed, "and we thank Nathaniel for his efforts during the past three seasons."