Southamp­ton still do not know which divi­sion they will be play­ing in next sea­son.

The Saints cur­rent­ly sit 4th in the Cham­pi­onship table. They are nine points adrift of the auto­mat­ic pro­mo­tion places, but with games in hand on those ahead of them.

As a result, there is still a pos­si­bil­i­ty of them being a Pre­mier League club next sea­son. Equal­ly though, there is a chance they will still be ply­ing their trade in the Cham­pi­onship at that point.

Until they know which divi­sion they will be in, it may be dif­fi­cult for them to set out a clear plan for the sum­mer trans­fer win­dow.

How­ev­er, it seems one play­er whose future Southamp­ton have already made a deci­sion over, is Fly­nn Downes.

Southampton want permanent Flynn Downes deal

Back in the sum­mer trans­fer win­dow, Southamp­ton com­plet­ed the sign­ing of Downes on a sea­son-long loan from West Ham.

That saw him reunite with Saints boss Rus­sell Mar­tin, who he had pre­vi­ous­ly played under at Swansea City.

The mid­field­er has since become an estab­lished play­er at St Mary’s. In total, he has made 26 appear­ances in all com­pe­ti­tions for the club.

As a result, reports have already claimed that Southamp­ton will look to sign Downes per­ma­nent­ly in the sum­mer trans­fer win­dow.

That is regard­less of what divi­sion they are play­ing in, and despite the fact there is no option to buy includ­ed in the loan deal.

How­ev­er, there may be an argu­ment that the form of anoth­er play­er cur­rent­ly at West Ham, could harm any hopes Mar­tin has of an extend­ed reunion with Downes.

Rotherham United v Southampton FC - Sky Bet Championship
Pho­to by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Get­ty Images

Kalvin Phillips struggling at West Ham

Back in the Jan­u­ary trans­fer win­dow, West Ham com­plet­ed a cen­tral mid­field loan sign­ing of their own.

That came with the addi­tion of Kalvin Phillips, who joined on a tem­po­rary basis from Man­ches­ter City.

Since mak­ing that move though, the Eng­land inter­na­tion­al has strug­gled bad­ly at The Lon­don Sta­di­um.

Phillips has already made some cost­ly errors for West Ham, and he has also picked up a red card in one of just six league out­ings for the club.

That has even led to for­mer Eng­land inter­na­tion­al Dar­ren Bent claim­ing that the mid­field­er has looked ‘way off the pace’ for the Ham­mers.

All of that, is unlike­ly to be good news for Southamp­ton and their hopes for Downes. With Phillips strug­gling so con­sid­er­ably, it is hard to imag­ine West Ham will be look­ing to make his loan move per­ma­nent in the sum­mer.

As a result, Phillips will sure­ly find him­self back at Man­ches­ter City come the end of this sea­son.

In turn, that will leave the Ham­mers a man down when it comes to their options in the cen­tre of mid­field.

Because of that, when Downes returns to the Pre­mier League club at the end of his loan spell with Southamp­ton, they may be inclined to keep him around.

That way, they will be able to fill the void left by the exit of Phillips in the cen­tre of the park, with­out hav­ing to go out and invest in anoth­er sign­ing.

In turn, that could of course, leave Southamp­ton with an uphill task to con­vince the Ham­mers to allow them to reunite with Downes once the win­dow is open.

Indeed, there are still three years remain­ing on Downes’ con­tract with West Ham as well. That of course, means there is no pres­sure on the Ham­mers to sell dur­ing the upcom­ing win­dow.

That could there­fore make him a sol­id replace­ment for Phillips at West Ham, espe­cial­ly after a pret­ty suc­cess­ful indi­vid­ual cam­paign at St Mary’s.

With all that in mind, it does seem as though Phillips’ form at West Ham has done Southamp­ton few favours, when it comes to their plans for the sum­mer.

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