Southampton should enter the race for Shinji Okazaki

According to The Sun, Huddersfield Town have had a bid for Shinji Okazaki turned down by Leicester City, and Southampton should join the race to sign the Japanese attacker.

What’s the word?

Despite the Terriers being rejected, Okazaki could still depart the King Power Stadium in this January transfer window. 

The 32-year-old is clearly surplus to requirements for Leicester. Although he has made 13 Premier League appearances for the Foxes so far this season, just one has come as part of the starting XI.

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The 116-cap Japan international could still play a much larger role for some other Premier League sides. Plenty of other clubs ought to be looking at prising the versatile attacker away from Leicester this month.

Southampton are amongst those clubs who would be wise to pursue Okazaki’s signature, and they should make their move fast before Huddersfield have a chance to seal a deal for the forward with an improved offer.

Potential to have a big impact

The Saints could do with some additional depth and Okazaki’s versatility would see him become a key asset in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad.

There is also currently a dearth of creativity at St Mary’s Stadium, since the departure of Dusan Tadic in the summer. The playmaker has not yet been effectively replaced.

Although he doesn’t represent a long-term solution, Okazaki’s arrival on the south coast would produce a much-needed injection of invention into the Saints’ ranks. The former Premier League title-winner would add a new dimension to Southampton’s attacking contingent and could play a vital role for the club between now and the end of the season.