Once a fully fledged French International and a menace to Premier League defences, Loic Remy’s career has come to somewhat of a standstill, as he finds himself locked out of Antonio Conte’s plans.
Sky Sports have since reported however that he’s free to leave the club this summer, stating that Southampton are one of three clubs interested in the Frenchman.
Remy travelled with the Blues squad for pre-season and even scored twice during an 8-2 win over Fulham, but it seems that he was selected solely to improve his fitness.
So with Remy firmly placed in Roman Abramovich’s shop window, and Southampton fans divided in opinion, is this a deal that takes my fancy? And is it the kind of gamble Southampton Football Club should be taking?
Firstly, it’s only right to paint the picture of Remy as a footballer; he’s an experienced centre-forward who at 30 years of age, is still quick on his feet and cool in front of goal. He’s a more than capable dribbler on the ball, and whilst his movement is generally considered intelligent, he’s considerably more effective in sides that look to counter attack.
He’s proven himself as lethal forward in Ligue 1 from 2008-13 – maintaining a one-in-two strike rate – before scoring 20 Premier League goals in just 42 appearances for QPR and Newcastle United.
From this profile it would seem like a no-brainer to race for Remy’s signature. However, I have my reservations for a number of reasons…
Since moving to Chelsea in 2014, Remy has featured in just 37 Premier League fixtures, scoring eight goals. And whilst failing to start for Chelsea is certainly no insult, that tally includes a miserable half-season loan spell at Crystal Palace, where he failed to open his goalscoring account in red and blue.
It’s been a long while since Remy has been able to string together a number of promising performances, and injuries have certainly played their part too. As the years have gone on, it seems that injury is waiting for the Frenchman around each and every corner; this is an attribute that we certainly don’t need in our squad. Regular injuries not only cost the club, but they also disrupt the way the team are playing, as someone else with different qualities takes their place.
On top of this, Remy hardly makes for the most Southampton-esque signing given his age; there’s little room for development, next to no sell on value, and the possibility that he blocks the pathway into the first team for others.
Not to mention that with Charlie Austin and Manolo Gabbiadini, Remy will be facing hot competition, and I’m not convinced that’s what he needs for his own development. In order to get back to his best, he needs a guarantee of consecutive starts with limited competition and a manager who trusts him – something we can’t offer.
Admittedly Remy’s pace does offer us something different in our frontline, and I’m sure that under the right management, a revival of his career can be made. But when you consider the high wage bill, missing form and recurring injuries, I can’t help but feel this is all too big of a gamble for Southampton Football Club.