Southampton Still Looking For Another Central Defender ! Targets In Sight
Wednesday, 13th Jul 2022 21:50
Saints may have signed Armel Kotchap but they are still looking to strengthen in the central defence, although to bring someone in they may have to sell. A potential recruit from Bayern Munich is again under the radar.
At the moment Saints have a lot of quantity in the centre of defence, but the truth is they still lack real experience and leadership, the two senior players in the centre of defence are Jan Bednarek & Jack Stephens, but both seem unlikely to play a significant part in the Saints defence next season.
Jan Bedarek did not seem to be the same player last season and he is being courted by both Leicester City & Napoli, he looks likely to leave and in truth it looks like the best option for both player and club, certainly if we could get around £20-25 million for Bednarek it would be a boost to the transfer kitty.
Jack Stephens is a good club man, a loyal servant and his case is a strange one, it seems he signed a new deal back in the Autumn, but like Alex McCarthy the club chose to keep this quiet despite rumours of the signing.
Certainly the fact that Stephens had signed the new deal before the change of ownership was beneficial to him, but for the club it would be unlikely that with the new owners in place he would have still been offered the deal. Now although being a club stalwart, he is blocking the progress of the youngsters behind him, I would not be surprised to see him on loan.
Likewise Lyanco, he seems destined to leave the club.
But it seems that Saints aren't done in the centre of defence, there are deals to be done outward, but it seems that the club still arent happy in the centre of defence.
The latest name this week isn't new, it is Chris Richards of Bayern Munich, before we get too excited the 22 year old USA International has not played a lot for the German giants, however two loan spells at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga have given his a growing reputation.
A number of Premier League sides, including Southampton, Crystal Palace and Leeds United are said to be interested in signing the 22-year-old this summer.
But is he the man Saints need, we still lack a leader at the back, an experienced organiser who can hold the back line and keep a cool head when the chips are down, in this respect Richards doesn't fit the role.
Whilst we have some very promising central defenders including Mohammed Salisu, Dynel Simue & new signing Armel Kotchap, they are all still learning their trade, they need an influence in their careers, someone who guides them not just on the pitch, but on the training ground and teaches him the lessons they need to learn.
If Saints wake up to that fact then these players will reach their full potential which will benefit Saints not just on the field but will bring in high transfer fees going forward, this is not a neagative comment, but the club's success depends on producing players and selling them on and re investing.
This has worked well, it only breaks down when we sign players who fail to live up to their potential, in some the fault lies with their attitude, but for others it lies with the club, over the last 5 years we have failed to nurture our young central defenders, failed to provide them with the leaders and mentors both on and off the park.
Now that has to change, why have the last two seasons been ones of boom and bust ? the truth is good teams are built at the back, at times in a season we will get away with things and prosper, at others we don't get away with our mistakes, that has to change and it never will as long as we throw 20 year olds to the wolves of the Premier League to tear them apart, they need leaders alongside them !
Photo: Action Images
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