Southampton will have to decide whether to let Romain Perraud join up with the France squad to take part in the Tokyo Olympics once they confirm his signing.
A report from L’Equipe on Friday morning (18th June 2021, pg 23) confirmed that Saints will sign Perraud in July, but also stated that it will be the club’s decision whether to let him join his country at the Olympics.
Having a player potentially involved in the Olympics this summer is less than ideal. It may be a big honour for the player, but his ability to take part in pre-season with Saints would be hugely disrupted should he be allowed to travel to Japan.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will run from Friday 23rd July to August 8th 2021 – just six days before Saints are due to kick their Premier League season off against Everton.
Southampton will want all their players available to prepare for 2021/22
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Looking at the situation, it is surely unlikely that Saints will let Perraud take his place for France this summer.
Ralph Hasenhuttl will want as much time with his players as possible and new signings will need even more time to learn his style of play. Perraud’s role as the first-choice left-back will be a complex one and will require specific learning of where he needs to be on the pitch and when.
If Saints manage to sign one or two other full-backs then they may be more willing to let him play for his country. However, there are even more things to consider with self-isolation when arriving in UK.
Via L’Equipe’s report, many other French players are set to reject that chance to play at the Olympics because of the disruption to pre-season.
France qualified to take part in the Olympics after their Under-21s side performed well at the 2019 Under-21s European Championships. Perraud did not play at this tournament but looks to have been contacted as part of a second string setup with many players playing for the senior team at Euro 2020.