Southampton are crying out for reported target Willi Orban after Derby defeat

According to The Daily Mail’s live transfer blog (January 16, 11:34am), Southampton are weighing up a January move for RB Leipzig captain Willi Orban, and he is exactly the player Ralph Hasenhuttl needs following his side’s FA Cup third round replay defeat to Derby County at St Mary’s on Wednesday night.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Daily Mail reported that Saints were interested in Brentford centre-back Chris Mepham but faced competition from Premier League rivals Bournemouth for his signature, but his £15m-plus transfer fee has seen them switch their attentions elsewhere.

The Daily Mail says that the south coast outfit are now weighing up a move for the Hungary international, who Hasenhuttl managed and made captain during his spell with Leipzig.

The report adds that the Austrian boss is an admirer of the 26-year-old’s organisational and leadership skills, and he continues to be the Bundesliga outfit’s skipper despite his former coach’s exit at the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

Why do they need him?

While Jan Bednarek appears to be a guaranteed starter for Saints right now, there are still some big question marks over Jan Vestergaard and Jack Stephens in the absence of Maya Yoshida at the Asia Cup.

The former watched on as an unused substitute as Southampton surrendered a two-goal lead for the second time in the tie against the Rams, before eventually being knocked out on penalties by the Championship club.

While Stephens and Vestergaard are decent on the ball and in the air at times, they showed a real lack of concentration at key moments – such as Derby’s equalising goal – and Tom Lawrence was given two further free headers that he should have done better with after the scores were levelled.

Orban is a dominant centre-back and – more importantly – a leader, and he would be a big talker at the heart of a defence that continues to turn to mush when they have a lead to protect.

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