The time of the year when actual football is replaced almost exclusively with transfer tattle isn’t far away folks and one saga sure to occupy more column inches than a royal birth is Jay Rodriguez’s Southampton future.
The unfortunate striker has not spent one single minute of 2014/15 fighting the Saints’ cause on the pitch, having suffered a horrendous knee injury in the final throes of last season.
Prior to picking up the dreaded anterior ligament injury in an awkward fall at the Etihad Stadium, Rodriguez’s exploits placed him firmly in the crosshairs of some notable clubs, namely, but not exhaustively Tottenham and Liverpool.
A handsome tally of 17 all-competition goals shot the Burnley native into the limelight and the fringes of the England team to boot.
Operating on the left of a potent front three at St Mary’s last season, accompanied by international teammates Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana, J-Rod’s pace, power and precision in front of goal understandably piqued the interest of bigger clubs.
Even after he was crocked just over 12 months ago, speculation swirled that the England man would form part of the forecasted Saints exodus.
The media frenzy piqued when Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino took the reins at Tottenham last summer and as a flock of his teammates upped sticks for Anfield in the meantime, the move took on an air of inevitability.
Fast-forward several months and it now feels like lunacy that the same projected moves are being touted once more.
The black and gold boys at bwin.com look to have it right with their latest odds on the matter though.
The firm quote Rodriguez still being a Southampton player on September 1st as the 4/7 favourite outcome, while 5/4 says he’ll be signed up by another club.
Common sense must surely prevail in this respect. Despite the amount of millions an England-standard Premier League footballer costs, buying one who has not played any senior football in that long would be a foolish venture.
From Rodriguez’s perspective, simply setting foot over the white line again will be his number one priority and with European football a major possibility for Ronald Koeman’s side next season, there is little reason not to be at St Mary’s.
For Southampton meanwhile, J-Rod’s potential return to action would fall firmly under the clichéd ‘new signing’ category.
New bwin punters can use their £30 free bet to back Jay Rodriguez to still be at Southampton by the time the summer transfer window closes, which would turn into £17.14 profit if he does.