Southampton must sign Craig Dawson to partner Wesley Hoedt if they stay up

According to reports in The Mirror, West Ham United, Burnley and Wolverhampton Wanderers are all eyeing up a potential summer move for West Bromwich Albion defender Craig Dawson, and Southampton should perhaps be monitoring him as well.

What’s the word, then?

Craig Dawson in action for West Bromwich Albion

Well, despite their upturn in form the Baggies are still on course to be relegated from the Premier League as they lie five points from safety with just six points left to play for.

The Mirror says that Dawson has been a revelation since recently moving to a central defensive position under Darren Moore, and his performances haven’t gone unnoticed by potential summer suitors for the 27-year-old.

Meanwhile, Southampton have struggled from a defensive point of view this term and could yet be joining West Brom in the Championship, although they gave themselves more than a chance of staying up with a 2-1 win against Bournemouth on Saturday.

How has Dawson done this season?

It has been a tough campaign for the west Midlands outfit, but the versatile defender – who can play as a centre-back or right-back – has been one of their few shining lights.

Despite suffering a knee injury midway through the campaign, the 27-year-old has since started 17 successive Premier League matches for them, and has even popped up on the score-sheet on two occasions.

Dawson is a player who isn’t afraid to battle and put his body on the line for his team, while his defensive statistics are impressive.

According to WhoScored.com, he has won 109 of the 173 aerial duels he has faced in 26 top flight outings this season, while he has made 32 successful tackles, 48 interceptions and 113 clearances.

Should Southampton be targeting Dawson, then?

They certainly should be, yes.

While they have centre-backs like Jack Stephens and Wesley Hoedt, who has reportedly lost the confidence of his teammates, that can be impressive with the ball at their feet, they have struggled from an aerial point of view at the back since they lost Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool.

Should they stay up, the south coast outfit definitely need a defender who can be dominant in the air alongside the likes of Stephens, Hoedt and Yoshida, and the 27-year-old West Brom defender would certainly fit the bill.