Southampton Transfer Speculation: 7 Potential Signings Prior to Deadline
David Rogers/Getty Images
Southampton figured that the start of their return to the Premier League would be a bit rough, with fixtures against Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal in their first four matches. Indeed, Southampton are one of the two sides yet to record a point and already find themselves in the drop zone, sitting in 19th place.
While it's not time to completely panic yet, Southampton realize that they must continue to strengthen the squad to increase their survival chances.
Saints completed their fifth signing of the transfer window Tuesday when they completed the transfer of Zambian international Emmanuel Mayuka from Young Boys of Switzerland. The addition further bolsters the attacking options for Nigel Adkins.
But the Mayuka signing doesn't mean Southampton should stop there. There are still areas of the squad that could use improvement.
Here are seven players Southampton should take a look at before the transfer deadline passes Friday.
Doni, Goalkeeper, Liverpool
Doni hasn't seen much action behind Pepe Reina at Liverpool.
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
There hasn't been much news on Southampton signing a goalkeeper since they completed the signing of Paulo Gazzaniga from Gillingham earlier this summer.
Southampton first-choice keeper Kelvin Davis hasn't looked the sharpest in Saints' two losses this season.
Gazzaniga probably isn't ready for Premier League competition after just 20 appearances for Gillingham. That means Southampton could really use a stopgap should Davis continue to struggle.
Doni has the experience at a high level needed to help Southampton, having made 148 appearances for AS Roma. Doni is currently the backup to Pepe Reina at Liverpool and has only made four appearances since joining the Reds in 2011.
Liverpool also have Brad Jones and Peter Gulacsi to back up Reina, so Doni could easily move on.
Matthew Upson, Defender, Stoke City
Matthew Upson would boost the middle of the Southampton back four.
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Southampton are a bit thin at center-back to begin with, and the play of Jose Fonte and Jos Hooiveld hasn't exactly been confidence-boosting so far.
Saints were rumored to be interested in Matthew Upson back in April, and it's an interest Southampton should follow up on.
Upson, who was a defender on the England World Cup team in 2010, has been stuck behind Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross for a starting place. Since joining Stoke City in 2011, Upson has only made 14 league appearances for the Potters.
While Upson is a little long in the tooth at age 33, he would bring needed experience and challenge Fonte and Hooiveld to raise their game to maintain their places in the Saints' starting 11.
Curtis Davies, Defender, Birmingham City
Curtis Davies would fit well with the core of players coming up from the lower leagues at Southampton
Michael Steele/Getty Images
Should Southampton choose a bit younger option than Upson, Curtis Davies of Birmingham City would fit right into the Saints' squad.
The 27-year-old Davies was named to the PFA Championship Team of the Year in 2011-12, an honor he would share with current Southampton players Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Kelvin Davis, Jay Rodriguez and Nathaniel Clyne.
Davies was looking to move to Norwich City to rejoin former manager Chris Hughton, according to The Mirror. But that move seems unlikely, given Norwich City signed Sebastien Bassong from Tottenham Hotspur.
Matt Phillips, Midfielder, Blackpool
Matt Phillips would add pace and goal-scoring from out-wide for Southampton.
Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Nigel Adkins has been experimenting with a 4-3-3/4-5-1 formation that has had strikers playing out wide and with three central midfielders.
This formation has caused players like Jay Rodriguez and Guly Do Prado to come back into defense on occasion, something they are not used to doing.
Matt Phillips would be another PFA Championship Team of the Year player from 2011-12 that would be joining Southampton. Interest seems to have cooled on Phillips after Blackpool manager Ian Holloway claimed Southampton was making an illegal approach for Phillips.
Phillips' youth, being just 21 years old, and 18 goals in the Championship, would fit well with Southampton's core of players that are eager to prove they are Premier League quality after fighting their way out of the lower leagues.
Wilfried Zaha, Midfielder/Striker, Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha would rejoin former Crystal Palace teammate Nathaniel Clyne at Southampton.
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Southampton have already conducted business with Crystal Palace once this offseason, signing and reaching compensation terms for Nathaniel Clyne to come to the South Coast.
Southampton shouldn't stop there, as there is another quality player worth picking up from the Crystal Palace roster.
Wilfried Zaha is another pacy winger that would fit into Adkins' new 4-3-3/4-5-1 formation, Southampton were rumored by the Daily Mail to be interested in Zaha back in July, but Crystal Palace seem keen on holding onto Zaha no matter the offering price.
At 19 years old, Zaha has already made 86 appearances for Crystal Palace and has plenty of time for his game to improve.
Liam Trotter, Midfielder, Millwall
Liam Trotter has played for Nigel Adkins before at Scunthorpe.
Harry Engels/Getty Images
While not as exciting of a prospect as Phillips or Zaha, Liam Trotter may be a cheaper and more realistic prospect for Southampton to sign to help out wide.
Adkins is already familiar with Trotter, having signed Trotter on a loan deal during his time at Scunthorpe.
In June, Adkins seemed interested in having Trotter come to Southampton as a £2 million deal was rumored to be in the works.
At 6'2", Trotter is a very strong and powerful midfielder who would be an asset on both ends of the pitch. Getting stuck in is not a trait that many of the Southampton midfielders seem to enjoy, and Trotter would help change that.
Theo Walcott, Midfielder, Arsenal
Theo Walcott coming back to Southampton would be a dream come true for many Southampton fans.
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Yes, this is a bit of a fantasy, but it's not completely impossible.
Walcott is in the final year of his deal at Arsenal. While Walcott seems keen on staying at the Emirates Stadium, nothing is guaranteed at this point.
The asking price, rumored to be around £12 million, is actually within Southampton's price range, considering Saints were willing to pay £12-15 million for Gaston Ramirez of Bologna in an on-again, off-again transfer saga.
Walcott was a member of the Southampton youth academy and played 21 matches for Southampton before moving on to Arsenal in a £9.1 million transfer in 2006.
Saints fans would surely welcome back Walcott with open arms if fantasy became reality.