On the surface, Southampton’s three kit options for 2019-20 look to be fairly okay (apart from the odd choice to have navy rather than black on the third strip, which mitigates against mixing and matching):
However, for Sunday’s trip to face Newcastle United, the Saints have been asked by the Premier League to come up with a fourth option as it was felt that all three shirts would clash with the Toon.
As a result, they will take to the field in last season’s two-tone red third shirt but with the LD Sports logo rather than that of Virgin Media on the chest – we’re assuming that the current home shorts and socks will be used.
It’s the second time this season that a side have been asked by the league to resurrect an old shirt, with Everton wearing their 2018-19 third on the opening day at Crystal Palace as none of their new kits were considered satisfactory. As it happens, they are still waiting to premiere their 2019-20 third in the league.
Emergency kits are nothing new for Southampton, though. In both 2016-17 and 2017-18, they had dark change strips which were considered unsuitable for games at Bournemouth and so in each campaign they wore plain white shirts with red shorts, 16-17 on the left below and 17-18 on the right. The former was later worn in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester United.
Then, just like now, later in 2017-18 they found themselves in a pickle for the game at Newcastle. However, the solution was an elegant one – rather than producing another brand-new shirt, instead the home was modified in that a version with a solid red back was used, along with red shorts and socks:
Unfortunately for them, that game resulted in 3-0 loss to Newcastle – they will hpoe for better in their old shirts this time around.