According to The Daily Express, Ralph Hasenhuttl is a big fan of Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic and is keen to bring the Serb to Southampton this summer after the Cottagers suffered relegation.
The 24-year-old, renowned for his strength and clinical finishing ability, has notched an impressive tally of goals for Scott Parker’s side this campaign – a satisfactory return considering the chopping and changing of both players and staff.
Fulham are hoping to keep hold of the former Newcastle hitman and are set to hold out for £30m in return for his services in the hope that the eye-watering price tag may put off any potential suitors as they look to the striker to fire them back out of the Championship next term.
With Shane Long’s future uncertain and neither Charlie Austin or Danny Ings relied upon to remain fit for 38 Premier League games in 2019/20, Hasenhuttl is right to add another number 9 to his squad, but is Mitrovic the right man at that cost? Football FanCast’s writers give their verdicts below…
“A move for Mitrovic makes perfect sense on paper but I have my doubts about whether Southampton should sign him. He’s proven that he can be devastatingly clinical since joining Fulham but he doesn’t suit Hasenhuttl’s high-pressing philosophy. His dominance in the air and physical prowess would make him a brilliant back-up option but he’s unlikely to be satisfied unless he’s the main man. At £30 million Southampton could make a surprise blunder despite Mitro’s obvious credentials.”
“If Southampton are to be taken to the next level under Hasenhuttl then a striker must be a priority this summer. However, Mitrovic is not the answer, particularly at such an inflated price. The Serbian had a good start to the campaign but like Fulham, his form rather fell away. There’s no doubt he’d probably find the net more with better service but at £30m it’s a monumental risk the Saints can’t afford to take.”
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“Signing Mitrovic would be an excellent decision by Southampton, but maybe not for a sum of £30m. He is a big bruiser of a forward who seems to enjoy the scrap in sides battling against relegation, and those who play a direct style with plenty of crosses into the box. In that respect, he might not be the ideal forward for Hasenhuttl’s system. Someone like RB Leipzig’s Jean-Kevin Augustin would probably be a better shout for the Saints.”