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Southampton Going Dutch For Japanese International Defender
Monday, 24th Jun 2024 11:17

St Mary's is said to be the most likely destination for AZ Alkmaar's Japanese defender Yukinari Sugawara, according to latest reports from Japan, so will he be following in the footsteps of Yoshida ?

12 years ago on their return to the Premier League Saints went shopping in Holland and came back with Japanese International defender Yoshida signed from VV Venlo.

Yoshida was popular amongst Saints supporters, but if truth be known he was more of a reliable back up than a first choice, as was evidenced by his 135 starts plus 19 as sub in his 8 seasons at the club.

However no one can argue that with 126 caps for his country and the fact that he is still playing as he is about to turn 36, that he has had a good career in the game and done a job wherever he has played.

Now history could be about to repeat itself according to The Japanese media outlet are claiming that Southampton are close to agreeing a deal for AZ Alkmaar right back Yukinari Sugawara.

Sugawara has only a year left on his contract and turning 24 later this week he has been a regular in the first team at AZ for the past five seasons and now has 119 games in the Eredivisie to his name. He has also played 13 games for his country at full international level, to add to that he has played more games in European competition for AZ than any other player, his total number of games for AZ is 198.

He is primarily a right back, but he has also been deployed as a winger and central midfield player, and even in the centre of defence. His profile fits that which Russell Martin looks for in a player, one where he can adapt to several positions, his arrival if it happens, could be seen as a signal that Kyle Walker Peters is nearing the end of his time at the club, but he could be played at left back, as he has been on a fair few occasions in the past few seasons.

Sugawara's value is said to be about £10-12 million, but that may reduce slightly due to entering the last year of his current contract.

According to Saints are already in negotiations with AZ Alkmaar and Southampton is said to be the most likely destination.

Photo: Action Images

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ElSanto added 11:20 - Jun 24
I would love Walker-Peters to stay, but the truth is I just want wants best for him and a shot at the big time. He has most certainly earnt that and shown a lot of respect to our club.

Bowlercow added 12:12 - Jun 24
Yoshida was a top pro Never moaned and always gave his all If Sugawara comes and is as good as him I would be happy to see KWP at LB
Last year he seemed to be saying "I will stay if we are a PL side" So here's hoping

SaintNick added 14:38 - Jun 24
Without being too uncharitable, there is a big difference between being a top pro and a top player, Yoshida was certainly a top pro whilst at St Mary's but he was a good back up player as shown by the actual number of appearances he made, we have top pros such as Jack Stephens, we need top players

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