Manchester United may have signed one of Southampton’s most influential players in the shape of 25-year-old midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin this transfer window but Ronald Koeman’s side have acted quickly to replace the void left by the French anchorman. Having been with the Saints since 2008, Schneiderlin made a total of over 260 appearances before leaving for Louis van Gaal’s Red Devils for an initial fee of £24 million earlier this summer.
But as previously mentioned, Ronald Koeman acted quickly and purchased Jordy Clasie from Feyenoord, signing for a reported fee between £7 million and £8 million. Clasie has been a regular now in the Feyenoord starting XI for the past four seasons and was eventually promoted to captain. He now reunites with Koeman at Southampton a manager whom he played almost every game under in the Eredivisie. Koeman was a major factor in pushing a young Clasie into the Feyenoord team so it comes as no surprise they are back together.
Now it would be normal to think that Clasie will be a like for like replacement for Schneiderlin, especially for those who’ve never seen the former play before. However in reality, Clasie is a lot smaller and less solid than Schneiderlin meaning his ability to break up play and start attacks isn’t as good. He shares a lot of similarities with the Frenchman though, he has a fantastic range of passing and loves to drive forward with the ball and create attacking moves, and his ability to retain possession is fantastic and will be key to Southampton this season. The lack of interceptions and tackles in Clasie’s game could easily be put down to the tempo of the Premier League compared to the Eredivisie.
Victor Wanyama is the most likely candidate to partner Clasie in midfield and will act as the defensive minded midfielder covering the Saints’ defence whilst the Dutchman will act as the playmaker creating chances and starting counter attacks. There is however the youngster James Ward-Prowse and the workhorse Steven Davies who could come into midfield this would give the midfield a more possession based feel and creating an emphasis on keeping it, a combination Clasie would work well in. The signing of former Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu could further ease the pressure on Clasie, who although out with injury at the moment, will surely be expected to hit the ground running in a role where so much will inevitably be expected of him, filling the void left by the influential Schneiderlin.
Jordy Clasie to date has made 11 appearances for The Netherlands; two of these came at the 2014 World Cup, where he impressed on both occasions. Yet despite the initial skepticism, all in all Southampton is definitely the right club for him. He’s not been thrown in at the deep end at the top of club football, but he’s at a club with European football that don’t have the biggest of expectations to win the league. Southampton also have a rich history of developing young players throughout the years and Koeman acts as a great mentor for the midfielder in his development and meeting his undoubted potential.
The move will also benefit Feyenoord and is the perfect time for them to sell him as they couldn’t afford to hold onto him much longer with his rising value always running the risk of free-falling should the player receive an injury. And whilst Schneiderlin’s departure could well hinder Southampton’s quest for the Europa League victory and quite possibly Champions League qualification, the signing of Clasie can put Saints’ fans at rest as the Dutchman looks very accomplished in central midfield. The sky may be the limit for Jordy Clasie as a player but who knows how it will effect Southampton in the short-term. However with regards to long-term, he could perhaps be the next big thing to come out of the Southampton school of excellence.
Article written by: @callumread