Southamp­ton leg­end James Beat­tie has revealed which one Southamp­ton loan play­er he would keep beyond this sea­son.

Rus­sell Mar­tin has utilised the loan mar­ket in the last two trans­fer win­dows, sign­ing a whop­ping six play­ers on tem­po­rary deals.

Tay­lor Har­wood-Bel­lis, David Brooks, Mason Hol­gate, Fly­nn Downes, Ryan Fras­er and Joe Roth­well are all due to return to their respec­tive par­ent clubs at the end of the sea­son.

Bar­ing Hol­gate who has made just sev­en appear­ances before leav­ing in Jan­u­ary, all of Saints’ loa­nees have made an impact and would rep­re­sent fan­tas­tic addi­tions if they were to be signed per­ma­nent­ly.

So when Beat­tie was asked the ques­tion of pick­ing only one play­er to sign on a per­ma­nent trans­fer, it’s no real sur­prise he toed and froed between a few.

James Beattie reveals the Southampton loan player he’d keep

Speak­ing on the In That Num­ber pod­cast, for­mer Saints strik­er Beat­tie revealed, after care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion, that he would sign Tay­lor Har­wood-Bel­lis per­ma­nent­ly over the oth­er loan play­ers.

“That’s a tough one because I think they’ve all been real­ly influ­en­tial,” the 46-year-old said.

“You’ve seen the impact when Fly­nn (Downes) wasn’t play­ing.

“He (Tay­lor Har­wood-Bel­lis) could play any­where couldn’t he, he’s such a good foot­baller.

“And the impact Ryan (Fras­er) has had and to be fair how pro­fes­sion­al he has been because he wasn’t real­ly get­ting in the team and then he was get­ting on as a sub and scor­ing.

“I’m torn between Fly­nn and Tay­lor. I’d have to go prob­a­bly Tay­lor.”

It’s a tricky ques­tion but a look at Har­wood-Bel­lis’ sta­tis­tics makes it clear why his per­ma­nent addi­tion would be per­haps the most impact­ful.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis’ incredible Southampton stats

Southamp­ton were one of a num­ber of clubs inter­est­ed in sign­ing Har­wood-Bel­lis last sum­mer but they man­aged to move ahead of com­peti­tors and secure his ser­vices on a sea­son-long loan deal from Man­ches­ter City.

The auto­mat­ic pro­mo­tion hope­fuls have an option to buy worth £20m on the Eng­land under-21 inter­na­tion­al if they are to gain pro­mo­tion.

The 2002-born defend­er has start­ed 30 games this term and has an aver­age Sofas­core rat­ing of 7.26, which is the fourth-high­est in the cur­rent squad.

He has also aver­aged the sec­ond most pass­es per game whilst main­tain­ing a com­ple­tion rate of 92.9 per cent, evinc­ing how com­fort­able he is on the ball, as per Whoscored.

Southamp­ton will be des­per­ate to book their place in the Pre­mier League next sea­son, or else they’ll like­ly miss out on sign­ing Har­wood-Bel­lis per­ma­nent­ly.

He won’t be short of poten­tial suit­ors.

Related Topics