According to the Mirror, Manchester United are confident of securing the services of Southampton starlet Nathaniel Clyne in a £15million deal. The defender is tipped to make the switch to Old Trafford in the summer – but would leaving the Saints for United be the right move for Clyne?
The 23-year-old has been an outstanding player for Southampton since his transfer from Crystal Palace in 2012. Clyne’s stellar performances for the Saints over the last couple of seasons has not only earned him interest from the Premier League’s elite clubs, but two senior England caps also. Clyne has been consistently superb under new boss Ronald Koeman, and he now looks to be subject of a £15m bid from Manchester United.
But will the right-back be making the wrong move at the wrong time in leaving the Saints for the Red Devils in the summer? We’ve seen many young players over the years make the step up and not live up to their potential. There will no doubt be more competition for places at United, and the added pressure that comes with playing for a club the size of United. However, Clyne does seem to have all the credentials to make the step up and shine at Old Trafford – he has a cool, calm head on young shoulders and nothing seems to faze him when he crosses that white line.
His former Saints teammate Luke Shaw made the switch to Old Trafford in the summer, and despite a slow start, Shaw has shaken off his injury setbacks and is starting to feature more frequently in Louis van Gaal’s plans. If the move does happen, Clyne will hope to follow in Shaw’s footsteps and stamp down his own authority on a first-team berth.
As for Southampton, it makes you wonder why anyone would want to leave St Mary’s at this present time? The Saints have shocked everyone with their excellent Premier League season so far – Koeman’s side sit third in the league table with an astonishing 42 points accumulated from 22 games, and they are showing little sign of letting up in their quest of securing Champions League football.
Clyne could have signed for Manchester United back in 2012, but he chose Southampton instead. In an interview with the Sun, shortly after completing his move to St Mary’s, Clyne said; “I had run out of contract at Palace and there were talks with a few clubs who were looking at me like United. I knew if I came to Southampton I would get a lot of game time.”
Not many players reject United for a less popular club. but it looked as though Clyne knew the ambitions of Southampton, and although it may have seemed far fetched at the time, he was dead right; “It is an up-and-coming club and they have a project here. They do not just want to sit with what they have, they want to push forward for European football. Our aim is to stay in the league this year but go on after that. Southampton is a very professional club and they work hard on every aspect of the game. I am already enjoying my time here.”
Nathaniel Clyne is undeniably a very talented young player with bags of potential, and Manchester United are obviously one of the biggest clubs in the world. But is leaving the ever-impressive Southampton at this moment in time, the right call from the England international?