According to ESPN, Southampton are one of the clubs interested in signing Aaron Mooy this summer, alongside Everton, West Ham and former employers Manchester City.
The 27-year-old midfielder impressed in the Premier League for Huddersfield last season and although Australia failed to escape the Group Stages, some of his World Cup performances have caught the eye as well.
Combining the abilities to both make and break play, the 37-cap international – who Transfermarkt value at just £9million – seems like a smart signing for the south coast outfit, who will hope next season isn’t another overshadowed by the threat of relegation.
But could there be unforeseen repercussions? Football FanCast take a look at three potential consequences of a summer swoop for Mooy…
There’s been plenty of Premier League interest in Lemina following an impressive debut season at St. Mary’s, with Manchester City even linked earlier this month, and it shouldn’t be forgotten that Southampton’s transfer model still largely revolves around adding value to talented young players before moving them on for a handsome profit.
So if Saints can get a deal for Mooy over the line, at relatively modest cost, that might just convince them to cash in on the Gabon international – injecting a significant sum into Mark Hughes’ transfer budget to improve other areas of the team. Mooy doesn’t have the same potential as Lemina, whose delicate touch, mobility and dribbling ability in central areas made him look like a future world-beater at times last season, but he’s a talented replacement nonetheless and with Oriol Romeu and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg already at the club, Hughes certainly won’t be left short of solid midfield options.
The club’s reported interest in another midfielder suggests Reed didn’t do quite enough on loan at Norwich last season to force him into the first team picture this time around. The red-head midfielder probably hasn’t progressed as expected since making his first-team debut way back under Mauricio Pochettino, but Canaries fans were left largely impressed with his form over the course of 2018/19.
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For Southampton too, it’s important that their academy players get first-team chances. That approach took Saints back to the Premier League and was a key part of their early success after returning to the top flight, with players like Adam Lallana and Calum Chambers coming through. Hughes though, appears more keen to work with finished articles such as the Australian international.
Mooy’s Premier League return of four goals and three assists last season might not seem like much, but that represented a contribution to 25% of Huddersfield’s 28 top flight goals, finishing up as the division’s joint-lowest scorers.
Southampton weren’t too far ahead of them with just 37 and while much of the blame for that was attributed to an out-of-sorts strike-force, there wasn’t much help from the midfield either – aside from Dusan Tadic, no midfielder scored more than thrice for Saints in the Premier League or bettered Mooy’s return for setups.
The Serbian international has now completed a move to Ajax, so it’s vital Hughes brings some more ammunition to the midfield this summer. It’s not explicitly what Mooy’s been targeted for – he’s better suited to deep-lying roles that highlight his tenacity and ability to dictate play with the ball – but that extra output is a key bonus for Saints after a goal-shy campaign. He’s a dab hand from the penalty spot, too.