Southampton fans can expect to be excited about the future of the club’s transfer policy following their recent £ 100million takeover.
Sport Republic, a London-based investment firm run by Serbian businessman Dragan Solak, finalized the buyout of Saints yesterday, with a £ 100million investment to acquire 80% of the club’s shares from the former majority shareholder Gao Jisheng.
As a member of the group that runs the club, Rasmus Ankersen is one of the co-founders and is the CEO of the new owners Sport Republic, who was previously co-manager of Brentford.
During a five-year period in West London between 2015 and 2020, Ankersen played an important role in the club’s groundbreaking transfer model based on the “silver ball” theory first employed by the Oakland Athletics MLB team in 2002, with transfers being data driven and buying low and selling high.
Ankersen and Brentford have been among the most successful and profitable clubs in the exchange of players on and off the pitch, ultimately leading to their very first promotion to the Premier League last year.
The approach of buying players in the domestic and foreign markets for a small amount before developing and selling big profits is not entirely new, with Southampton among clubs having adopted a similar method in transfer transactions from their home. return to the Premier League in 2012.
CEO of Southampton Martin Semmens said that there will be little change in the club’s approach to transfer after the takeover, with the Saints looking to continue buying and developing players at the club.
So, with the potential at St Mary’s for a model similar to Brentford’s, Saints supporters can be enthused by taking a quick look at the players bought and sold by the Bees around this time.
The six players we looked at were bought by Brentford for £ 10.1million combined, sold for a combined total of £ 95.6million which could reach as high as £ 105.6million in add-ons.
John Egan (free agent in 2016, sold for £ 4.1million in 2018)
Center-back John Egan was the cheapest of the six, signing a free transfer after failing to sign a new deal at Gillingham in 2016.
In two seasons with the Bees, Egan has scored seven times in 71 games in a series in which he first became a Republic of Ireland international and is now a regular with the Irish squad.
In 2018, Egan joined Championship Sheffield United for just over £ 4million, where he would become a promotion winner in his first campaign.
It was the lowest selling cost and lowest profit, but spotting his potential and turning him into a future Premier League and international defender was truly impressive.
Ryan woods(Signed for £ 1million in 2015, sold for £ 6.5million in 2019)
Ryan Woods was another player snatched from League One, with Brentford signing him for £ 1million from Shrewsbury Town.
As with Egan, Woods had no relevant experience above England’s third tier, but 122 league appearances in his three full seasons at Brentford quickly changed that.
In the 2018/19 campaign, Woods moved to Stoke City on an initial loan deal which became permanent for £ 6.5million later in the campaign.
At the time, Woods was billed as one of the league’s top talent and although he never had any luck in the Premier League, joining Millwall and then Birmingham City, more than 200 league appearances show just how he was well equipped to play at the level Brentford signed him to.
Ezri Konsa(Signed for £ 3million in 2018, sold for £ 12million in 2019)
Center-back Ezri Konsa only spent a year with the Bees, bought from Charlton Athletic for around £ 3million in 2018.
Konsa had never played in the league but was a regular in his one campaign, making 42 of the 46 league appearances in the 2018/19 season.
As a result of this, Konsa was sold to Aston Villa shortly after their return to the top flight for £ 12million, four times what they paid for him.
Konsa recently impressed at Villa with numerous calls for him to be a regular at the England squad.
Neal maupay(Signed for £ 1.6million in 2017, sold for £ 20million in 2019)
The arrival of striker Neal Maupay has shown that the moneyball philosophy can not only be applied in the English leagues, but also abroad.
During his time in Nice and then Saint-Etienne, Maupay scored seven times in 59 Ligue 1 games, but only started 17 and his last season in France saw him score 11 league goals in Ligue 2 for the Brest loan club.
Maupay was sold for around £ 1.6million in 2017 by Saint-Etienne and he became an instant hit for Brentford.
His two seasons in London saw Maupay score 41 times in 95 games across all competitions alongside a leading trio with Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins, earning the trio the nickname BMW before they left.
He was the first to leave in 2019, joining Brighton and Hove Albion for £ 20million, where he returned a constant Premier League goal rate.
Ollie watkins(Signed for £ 1.8million in 2017, sold for £ 28million, rising to £ 33million in add-ons in 2020)
Exeter City was the place to go for the local BMW element, signing versatile forward Ollie Watkins after an impressive 2016/17 campaign for the Greeks in League Two.
At £ 1.8million it was a gamble to take a 21-year-old and rely on him to deliver the goods in the Championship.
His first two seasons netted ten league goals each, but when Brighton signed Maupay Watkins transferred to center-striker and he moved to another level.
The 2019/20 season saw Watkins score 26 goals in 50 games on all fronts, earning £ 28million at Aston Villa who could reach £ 33million in add-ons.
With 19 goals in 52 Premier League games, like Maupay, Watkins quickly settled into the top flight.
Said Benrahma(Signed for £ 2.7million in 2018, sold for £ 25million, rising to £ 30million in add-ons in 2020)
The BMW trio were all gone by the end of 2020 when Said Benrahma crossed through London to join West Ham United.
The exit came just over two years after Nice signing for £ 2.7million and after four goals in 29 Ligue 1 appearances in four seasons, Benrahma had Ligue 2 loans with Ajaccio and Chateauroux.
In 2018, Brentford paid £ 2.7million for the Algerian, who went on to score 27 goals and 23 assists in 84 league games, making for a lot of money.
Similar to Woods’ exit, Benrahma joined West Ham initially on loan before a £ 25million change months later in the 2020/21 campaign, which could reach £ 30million in add-ons.
At West Ham, Benrahma has impressed this season with nine straight goals in 20 games and he is currently away with Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.