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Saints Linked With German Central Defender
Tuesday, 5th Apr 2022 09:00

When the rumours emerged that Southampton were allegedly in the hunt for FC Koln central defender Timo Hubers, a quick check of his stats led me to believe that this was nothing more than agents talk, yet the rumours get stronger.

According to various media outlets, Saints are one of a host of clubs who are said to be interested in signing FC Koln's central defender Timo Hubers, Newcastle, Leeds and Crystal Palace, West Ham, Southampton and Fulham are all said to be monitoring his situation.

But a glance at his career does not suggest that he would be a target, turning 26 in the summer, he has not had a very glorious career so far.

He started his career at Koln, but left in 2016 to join Hannover 96 without making a first team appearance for the club.

At Hannnover things were not much better, he made 5 appearances in the Bundesliga back in 2017/18 but even after the club dropped down to Bundesliga2 he was hardly a regular, although he did suffer a cruciate injury that kept him out for a long while.

His career seems to be littered with knee injuries and in 5 seasons at Hannover he made just 32 League appearances all in the German second tier.

But he must have impressed someone as FC Koln signed him again in 2020, but it would be this season before he made his First team debut, for the first half of the season though he would be mainly an unused sub and by mid December he had made just two appearances both starts.

Since then though aside from missing a game after contracting Covid, he has played every minute in the Bundesliga and has so far amassed 15 top flight games to add to his previous total of 5.

So why has his star risen so highly in just 4 months, where he has gone from barely used squad member to seemingly being chased by a third of next season's Premier League.

That is the question I asked when his name first emerged over the last week and to be honest I didn't even bother with a story, surel a 25 year old central defender with so little experience and with a value on Transfermarkt of barely £2.5 million would not be a target for Saints or for that matter any other club in the Premier League !

But the story continues to grow, Hubers will have only a year left on his contract at the end of the season and the figures being quoted to prise him away from Koln is now nearer £6 million.

Surely he has not improved so much over the past 4 months that he is the hottest property in the Bundesliga, you could understand it if he was 21 or 22, but turning 26 in 3 months time does not make him a promising youngster.

We have experience of getting our fingers burned when buying central defenders from German clubs, four years ago we spent big on Jannik Vestergaard, who at a similar age then as Hubers is now had almost 200 Bundesliga games to his name, he was good in that division, but has struggled in the Premier League both for Saints and Leicester.

So I'm still unsure about this one, surely it has to be the players agent building him up, there just isn't enough data on him to have truly brought him under our radar, at least enough to take a chance on him.

Photo: Action Images

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Flamingbankers added 09:20 - Apr 5
Just what we need - another average central defender to add to the squad. I don't think so.

SaintNick added 11:09 - Apr 5
As I said I'm not sure that he can have been monitored enough to really make a judgement

SaintPaulVW added 11:11 - Apr 5
Think our name just gets used by agents and selling clubs to add a bit of 'showbiz' hidden gem stardust to bang average players.

People seem to forget the number of overseas duffers we've recruited over the years.

dirk_doone added 12:25 - Apr 5
FC Köln got him on a free transfer 8 months ago and he's now valued at £2.7 mill on Transfermarkt. So, he's definitely in our bargain basement price range but it would be more reassuring if we were being linked with a more valuable central defender like Torino's Bremer.

underweststand added 18:15 - Apr 5
Goalkeepers have " phases" of good and not-so-good form, but CB's are pivotal to a good defence. Good pairing of defensive players is vital. Way back when - we had Richards, , Williams, Svensson and Lundekvam (who could play alongside almost anyone).
Jose Fonte partnered 6 different CB's in his time and did well with them all. IMHO it was a mistake to allow Puel to sell him as he is still first choice for club and country (at 37).

Our 4 present CB's all have qualities-and-faults, but I can still can't work out the best combination as it comes down to Salisu.. .and someone else?. Lyanco perhaps, but the addition of another CB would do no harm and give us good cover against injury and form loss. There is no obvious candidate on the bench or in the B team at present and so it needs someone a bit special to face upto the world-class strikers in the Prem.

highfield49 added 08:26 - Apr 6
Whilst not suggesting that the club aren't interested in strengthening the central defence I'm hoping that Lyanco, when fully fit again, will become a first team regular next season. I'm also anticipating that Simeu will be coming into contention but I don't know how his loan performance is shaping his development. The brief experiment with Valery at the back seems to have stalled so, all in all, I'd think that the last thing we need is another player with dubious potential. That said Livramento was a bit of a lottery ticket signing and that's turned out rather well so we have to trust the judgement of those closest to the selection process.

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