This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to German publication Sport1, Southampton have shown an interest in signing Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sebastian Rode, and it would be a no-brainer move even if it did come with its risks.
Well, Sport1 report that Eintracht Frankfurt are the frontrunners to buy the 28-year-old on a permanent deal following a loan spell with them last season.
However, the report states that Saints’ director of football operations Ross Wilson has made an enquiry about a possible transfer, something that the German’s adviser has refused to deny.
Branko Panic told Sport1: “I do not partake in speculation, but after his strong second leg, it would not be unusual.”
The report adds that the former Bayern Munich man could be available for around €5m (£4.5m), mainly because of the player’s injury issues in the past – since signing for Dortmund in the summer of 2016 he has only made 22 appearances in all competitions for them.
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While he has had some major injury problems and is the wrong side of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s reported preferred maximum age for new signings of 24 – as per an interview with SportBild – it is difficult to ignore the chance to pay less than £5m for a player who has featured for Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and then eight times for Frankfurt in the Europa League last term.
The 28-year-old is primarily a central midfielder – a position where the south coast outfit have plenty of bodies with the likes of Oriol Romeu, Mario Lemina, James Ward-Prowse and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – but he has shown his versatility in the past by playing at left-back and right-back previously for Dortmund, suggesting he could act as cover and competition for Yan Valery, too.
While his injury past is a worry, Rode clearly has something about him and would be an experienced head in the Southampton team in 2019/20.