Pulis signs, but Gasmi waits in the wings

Last updated : 29 August 2008 By Chris C
Both transfers have been puzzling. Jan Poortvliet indicated that he would like to bring in one more signing to add depth and versatility to his squad, but the deal of Gasmi, 21, also seems well advanced.

Pulis has of course to date only been signed by his father, Stoke Boss Tony Pulis, who has shown little indication of actually playing him - hardly a ringing endorsement of the player.

It is a concern that he is still to make his mark at 24 after a string of anonymous loan spells throughout his career at Bristol Rovers, Grimsby, Plymouth and Torquay. Indeed with Saints' current youth policy 24 makes him a comparative veteran.

It seems an odd signing with Saints well stocked in central midfield, but we will all need to reserve judgement until he has actually taken to the pitch and trust the manager who has hardly put a foot wrong since joining the club.

The link with Gasmi is also well advanced according to the French press who claim that the player was at St Mary's having a look at the facilities. A loan deal is said to be on the table with an option to buy at 1m Euros.

There is even a quote from the player on a Strasbourg forum (our translation): "I've talked with the Chairman and the Manager. They want to sign me. But I don't want to get carried away and say I'm already a Southampton player.

I'm waiting for the two clubs to reach agreement. I'm staying in Southampton until Thursday afternoon. Afterwards I'm returning to Strasbourg. I won't sign anything until the end of the week because I'm in England without my agent. I admit I was surprised by Southampton's interest given I'm injured, but I'm delighted."

Gasmi is currently injured with that most fashionable of injuries a broken metatarsal and is a few weeks away from full training. He is currently out of favour at Strasbourg, the club which sold us the talented Morgan Scheiderlin.

An attacking midfielder with more than a few tricks in his locker, he has enjoyed a mixed start to his career making just 15 appearances to date scoring a solitary goal. Indeed some Strasbourg fans claim he laboured under the burden of being labelled the next Zidane as so many young Frenchmen have before him (Le Tallec, Cheyrou, Nasri...).

So what is the truth - will Poortvliet stop at Pulis? After the success of unearthing Scheiderlin, Saints may be waiting until another high earner is off the books to make room for the potential of Gasmi. If he signs on loan Saints are not bound by the end of the permanent transfer window at the end of the month and can add an exciting addition to their midfield when fit again.