Through the course of the season it has been announced that several Northampton Saints players are on their way out. With the team set to lose approximately seven important players and so far only signing three players in as replacements Northampton are poised for more action in the transfer market.
With players reportedly unhappy at a lack of first tem action, some players nearing the end of their contract and other looking for a big money move, you might be wondering who Northampton could make a move for. After all there has already been a lot of transfer movement and a lot of contracts already penned.
It is my aim to compile a shortlist of players who could be both useful additions to the Saint’s ranks and interested in a move to Franklyn’s Gardens. For the record these targets are largely rumour based and speculation.
Gareth Steenson – Fly-half
With Ignacio Mieres set to extend his stay with Exeter Chiefs, Steenson might be forgiven for getting largely fed up of waiting in the wings. It is no secret that Northampton are still missing a top class fly half. ‘Steeno’ fits that bill, his kicking conversion rate has consistently been in and around the high eighties in terms of percentage. He plays the ball well with ball in hand and his tactical kicking game is superb.
However Gareth’s defence has always let him down, this I feel is something that Northampton could help him improve and a Fly-half of his calibre could push Saint’s towards that coveted premiership trophy.
Likelihood – It still remains to be seen if Steenson is unhappy enough to look for a move or if he is going to stay and fight for his place. So although Steenson is a potential target he is very loyal to Exeter Chiefs.
Joshua Bassett – Winger
Joshua is currently the top try scorer in the RFU Championship with Bedford Blues, at just twenty years old, Bassett looks an exciting prospect and with incentives and compensation a deal could be struck with Bedford. Northampton will be looking for a young winger to replace Chris Ashton and with a lot of high profile targets already being signed up Bassett could prove a great acquisition, not only to add some depth to the backs, but as a surprise package for opposition. With Bassett picking up England honours at Under20 level he could be primed for a premiership move in the coming years and Northampton may look to beat the likes of Leicester tigers to the punch.
Likelihood – With Bedford pushing for promotion to the premiership they may be reluctant to let one of their young stars go. However with a potential money spinning deal they could add strength to their squad with a couple of players in Bassett’s place.
It’s no secret that Northampton need a great fly half, an additional centre and some added quality on the wing and the three potential targets listed could certainly do a job for the saints as they look to regain some silverware.