Veteran English winger Theo Walcott was a major absentee as his Southampton side embarked on a pre-season tour of Austria. The former Arsenal and Everton star was not part of the 26-man Southampton squad to Austria last week. Apart from Theo Walcott, other senior players such as Romain Perraud and Nathan Redmond were also left out of the Saints squad for the tour of Austria.
Southampton revealed in a statement that Theo Walcott and Nathan Redmond have stayed behind to work on getting to peak fitness. It was disclosed that the two Englishmen will continue to work on their fitness at Staplewood training centre for the Saints. On his part, Frenchman Perraud has notfeatured in pre-season this summer after he sustained an injury at the end of last season. The left-back has spent just one season with the Saints following his transfer from French club Brest last summer.
A lot of youngsters were named on the Southampton travelling party to Austria including midfielder Diamond Edwards. Apart from Edwards, younger players such as defender Dynel Simeu and left-back Thierry Small also made the squad.
Southampton have signed five players this summer and they were all named in the squad which departed for Austria last week Wednesday. Republic of Ireland shot stopper Gavin Bazunu, Nigerian midfielder Joe Aribo, Romeo Lavia, Mateusz Lis and Armel Bella-Kotchap are the new signings at Southampton this summer.
While Southampton were in Austria, they faced German Bundesliga side RB Leipzig and Austrian team Austria Klagenfurt. On Saturday, the Saints were beaten 3-1 by Leipzig with the lone goal for Southampton scored by Adam Armstrong. He scored the equaliser after Angelino had given Leipzig the lead. Emil Forsberg and Ilaix Moriba then scored to give the Germans the win. Two days after the Leipzig game, Southampton and Austria Klagenfurt played out a goalless draw.
Southampton will take on Watford in their next pre-season friendly on Saturday. The Saints will then face French team AS Monaco and Spanish team Villarreal within one week before theiropening game of the new Premier League season at Tottenham Hotspur during the first week of August.