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Fresh start for Gavin Bazunu as Southampton close in on Russell Martin

Russell Martin Southampton

Southampton are close to announcing Russell Martin as their new manager.

Southampton are reportedly set to unveil Russell Martin as their new manager on a three-year deal.

The Scotsman started his managerial career with MK Dons in 2019 and it wasn’t long before his progressive football and impressive results caught the eye of Championship side Swansea.

The Swans made Martin their new boss in 2021 after watching him lead MK Dons to the League One play-offs, and he fared respectably in his debut Championship season by finishing 15th.

This season saw him embed his style of play further as they climbed to 10th in the league table, just three points short of sixth.

Southampton appoint Russell Martin.

Southampton, who will compete against Swansea in England’s second tier next season, now look ready to make the 37-year-old their manager after announcing the departure of Ruben Selles.

Selles took charge of the Saints after the departure of Nathan Jones back in February, but he failed to turn the sinking ship around as the club slumped to a bottom placed finish.

The managerial change could have implications for Ireland internationals Gavin Bazunu and Will Smallbone who are both contracted to St Mary’s for next season.

Bazunu lost his place in the Saints goal to Alex McCarthy in April and Smallbone spent the season on loan with Stoke City.

On paper, Martin’s footballing philosophy would appear to suit the pair of youngsters however, as they hope to bounce straight back to the top flight in style.

Ryan Manning future.

Martin’s star player for Swansea this campaign was Ireland left wing-back Ryan Manning.

The Galway man, who scored five goals and provided eight assists in the league, left his Swans contract expire in order to sign for a bigger club this summer.

Manning is reportedly on the radar of clubs such as Leeds United, but his ex-manager’s arrival at St Mary’s could disrupt those clubs’ transfer plans.

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