Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin looked to be on his way out of St Mary’s this season after handing in a transfer request following links with Tottenham, but the French international was convinced to stay and has now played his part with the South Coast outfit enjoying a top-four place in the Premier League past the mid-point of the season.
Schneiderlin’s Southampton side are currently three places and five points ahead of Tottenham in the league, but the 25-year-old could well have an important decision to make regarding his future. Spurs are expected to make one last-ditch attempt to sign the outstanding midfielder this month, but the Frenchman will need to decide which club would be a better career choice.
“Something special is going on. We want to put Southampton in the spotlight. We want to reach the Champions League. That will be a shock for the country and the world. We want to change this tradition of it being all the big teams. To make it happen we need to be focused in every game,” said Schneiderlin.
Saints are currently overachieving in the Premier League, but they boast a strong squad, talented manager, and a playing style that has seen them earn shock wins against Arsenal and Manchester United. Tottenham may be below them in the table, but their past history suggests they are a regular top-six side consistently featuring in the Europa League.
There’s no guarantee Southampton’s squad won’t endure another summer collapse, while manager Ronald Koeman finds himself linked with the likes of Barcelona. But Saints have their destiny in their own hands, so there are certainly pros and cons to being at either club. Tottenham can afford more in the way of wages, but Southampton are in the driving seat this season.
Saints were on course for the top-four last season until the mid-point of the season, before a collapse saw them eventually finish 8th in the league table. Schneiderlin will be certainly fearful of a repeat, while having noted that Tottenham have finished 6th or better in the last five seasons. It’s a difficult decision to make if the Londoners make their interest official in the coming days, but the lure of playing for a club with a higher reputation, bigger pull in the transfer market, lucrative funds, while boasting consistently high league finishes could be a factor in Schneiderlin’s potential choice.