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Southampton struck gold with Armel Bella-Kotchap

Renowned for their fine work in the transfer market, this summer boasted another set of new young recruits for Southampton to hopefully make successes out of.

Ten new faces entered the St Mary’s doors, with the vast majority unknown commodities mostly on the younger side.

Was Armel Bella-Kotchap Southampton's signing of the summer?





Although their season has not started particularly strongly, sitting in 17th, their form of late can be seen as directly correlating with the absence of one of these summer additions.

The injury to central defender Armel Bella-Kotchap in mid-October has underpinned a run of form where they have won just one in their last eight Premier League games.

Signed for just £10m, the German has already gone on to make his debut for the national team since moving to the south coast and earned praise for his cultured performances at the back for the Saints.

With an average SofaScore rating of 7.03, the 20-year-old is impressing not only with his defending, where he averages 2.3 interceptions and 1.4 tackles per game, but his ball playing, where he boasts a 100% dribble success rate and 76% pass accuracy.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has led that acclaim, stating after their win over Chelsea: “When you see the physical quality he has it is perfect for the Premier League.”

Jermaine Jenas also joined in to say: “He has authority in the way he plays, how aggressive he is in the tackle and his positional sense, you always want one leading the way and he seems to want to take that mantle at 20 years of age.”

This emergence into the forefront of world football has understandably led to an increase in value.

Back in December of 2021, whilst still at VFL Bochum, the France-born gem was worth just £4.5m. Now however, as of November 2022, Transfermarkt value him at £16.2m. This marks a 260% increase in just under a year.

As he continues to improve, this will only continue to grow. It may only be early in Bella-Kotchap’s Southampton career, but he is already looking like another one of their infamously shrewd pieces of business.

Article title: Southampton struck gold with Armel Bella-Kotchap

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