According to TEAMtalk, Southampton are considering an offer for versatile Bristol City midfielder Josh Brownhill, along with fellow Premier League clubs Burnley, Bournemouth and Brighton.
Brownhill has started all 23 Championship games for the Robins this season while also delivering an impressive amount of goal contributions – the 24-year-old has scored five goals and also registered two assists from midfield.
However, aside from his goal involvements, he seems like he could be an ideal fit under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
The Bristol City No.8 has enjoyed a fine campaign while playing in three different positions at least once.
Brownhill has appeared in a defensive-midfield role, as well as at centre-midfield and right-midfield.
The Englishman has appeared most in the centre of midfield, making 18 appearances there, while playing four games out on the right as well as just once in a defensive-midfield role.
Incidentally, it is this versatility in particular that would make him ideal for Hasenhuttl.
Well, while versatility in itself can often be a useful trait anyway if cover is needed for injured or suspended players, Brownhill’s capabilities fit well alongside the former RB Leipzig manager’s various formations.
So far this season, the Austrian coach has used nine different tactical systems, including five-at-the-back and three-at-the-back defences.
Amongst these varying formations are a traditional 4-4-2 system, a 4-3-3 and Hasenhuttl’s preferred lineup, the 4-2-2-2, also known as the 4-4-2 double six – this formation has been used five times in the last six Premier League outings.
While it goes without saying that a traditional 4-4-2 and a 4-3-3 require flat centre-midfielders, Hasenhuttl’s 4-2-2-2 tends to see a centre-midfielder start wider out on the flank, while that was also evident against Arsenal recently with Stuart Armstrong starting at right-midfield in a 4-4-2.
As you can see by Armstrong’s WhoScored page, the Scot is quite similar to Brownhill as he has played in the centre and on the right this term, reinforcing the fact that Hasenhuttl likes to have a versatile option in that role who can act as a right-midfielder when attacking, but also slot back into the centre when defending.
Brownhill’s experience in playing this role, as well as his familiarity playing under a manager in Lee Johnson who also enjoys to drill a number of different tactical shapes into his squad – Bristol City have rotated between four different formations in the Championship this season – makes him an ideal Hasenhuttl player.
In other news, this unlikely Southampton loanee is proving that he could fix one of the club’s weak points in the future…