Southampton are to set appoint Swansea’s Russell Martin as new manager

Russell Martin, Swansea City (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)
Russell Martin, Swansea City (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images) /

As broken by The Athletic, Southampton is set to make Russell Martin the club’s next manager, ahead of next season. Russell Martin was originally expected to travel to the US and meet with Swansea to discuss a new contract. According to The Athletic, Southampton has yet to make a formal approach but the feeling from within the club is that Russell Martin will join.

Russell Martin’s biggest strength is that he is able to get his team to score goals. Swansea had the 4th joint most goals scored in the Championship this season, despite the 10th-place finish for the Welsh side. On the flip side, only 4 Championship clubs conceded more than Swansea, including all 3 relegated sides. Under Martin, Swansea does a lot of building up from the back and taking their time working the ball into the final third. There is often a large sequence of passes leading up to their goals scored. Martin’s MK Dons played the same way and during his time at the club, they had some of the best possession stats in Europe during his tenure.

Players that have shined under Martin at Swansea are notably Joel Piroe, Matt Grimes and Ryan Manning. Piroe in particular has faired well, having scored 19 goals this season and 22 in the previous one.

Swansea has yet to achieve better than 10th in the Championship so there is tons of reasonable apprehension around a move for Martin. It could be said though that with better backing, which Southampton should be able to offer, Martin could be a smart appointment.

Southampton has had the joy of playing Premier League football since 2012 but it has come to an end. Relegation was confirmed after a 2-1 defeat to Fulham at St. Mary’s Stadium. The club will likely see a massive exodus with many player’s having salaries way too high for the Championship.  Some players such as James Ward-Prowse, Romeo Lavia, and Kyle Walker-Peters will have many suitors vying for their signature this summer.

Ruben Selles was given the job for the remainder of the season acting as interim manager in a 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in February. Selles replaced Nathan Jones who had replaced Ralph Hasenhuttl. Given the club’s relegation and likely 20th-place finish, the need for some stability in the managerial position is apparent.