Ahead of their clash this weekend, it has been revealed that a new Saints addition could have joined Leeds over the summer.
Despite being two of the favourites for promotion to the Premier League, Leeds United and Southampton haven’t had the perfect starts to the 2023-24 season.
The Saints are on a four-match losing streak in league action and have started to fall down the table, whilst the Whites are slowly but surely getting there under Daniel Farke and are unbeaten in six Championship matches.
Russell Martin’s side and United went to battle this summer for many players this summer, and whilst Leeds won the race for one player in particular in the form of Joel Piroe, there were also others that they lost out on.
Ryan Manning was a player that was heavily linked with the Whites, only to head to St Mary’s Stadium to re-unite with Martin, whilst Man City centre-back Taylor Harwood-Bellis was also a player of interest to Farke but on transfer deadline day, he opted for the Saints too.
Which Southampton player did Leeds United take on trial this summer?
Leeds did take a player on trial though that eventually went on to join Russell Martin at Southampton, and that individual is Joe Lumley.
As revealed by The Athletic, goalkeeper Lumley joined up with United during pre-season in a bid to try and win a contract at Elland Road, presumably just as a back-up goalkeeper though despite the fact Illan Meslier’s future at the time was uncertain.
Of course though, Lumley would not sign for Leeds and it is unclear as to whether or not he was even offered anything, but in early August he penned a one-year deal with the Saints, where he is currently third choice behind Gavin Bazunu and Alex McCarthy.
That is exactly where he would have been at Leeds though, with Meslier and new recruit Karl Darlow battling it out for a spot in Farke’s starting 11?
Who is Joe Lumley? Did he make the right move to Southampton?
The 28-year-old goalkeeper has spent much of his career at Queens Park Rangers, but between 2014 and 2018 he went out on loan to six different clubs, rising from the National League South to League One in that time.
Lumley became the Hoops’ first-choice goalkeeper in the 2018-19 season but two years later, he was back out on loan in League One on emergency loan deals to Gillingham and Doncaster Rovers.
He moved to Middlesbrough in 2021 and perhaps surprisingly was the number one for much of the 2021-22 season, but was eventually dropped in the latter stages and found himself out on loan at Reading for the following campaign.
Per FBRef, Lumley ranked fifth-highest in the Championship when it came to goals conceded per 90 minutes when at the Royals last season and was second from bottom in the percentage of clean sheets kept in matches.
Regardless of that though, Southampton wanted to sign him as a backup option – but should he have lowered his sights to League One for regular football?
There would probably have been clubs that would have taken Lumley at that level, but he will be earning a decent wage just to be training for the Saints, so it’s hard to say that it was the wrong move despite only being 28.