Despite currently being in 15th place in the Premier League table with just seven points from their opening eight league games of the season, Southampton have a fairly respectable defensive record in comparison to the clubs around them in the bottom half of the table with just ten goals conceded, fewer than the likes of Arsenal, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
One player that has been a fairly regular figure for Southampton in that respect is defender Jan Bednarek, who has played 90 minutes in each of the club’s four previous Premier League games.
Southampton signed Bednarek back in the 2017 summer transfer window from Polish club Lech Poznan for a reported fee of £5m.
Since then, the 25-year-old, who has been described as an “important” player for Southampton by Ralph Hasenhuttl, has gone on to make a total of 123 appearances for the Saints across all competitions in which he has managed to chip in with three goals and four assists in the process.
This season in the Premier League has seen Bednarek rack up an average of 1.6 interceptions per game, two tackles per game, 3.6 clearances per game and win 62% of all duels he’s been involved in, showing how much of a defensive unit he has been for the club in recent weeks.
In terms of his market value, in August 2017 shortly after he joined the club, Transfermarkt had it listed as £4.5m, that was despite signing for £5m. However, now it stands at £22.5m, highlighting a significant rise since making his move to Southampton, which proves just how much he has developed and progressed with the Saints.
This also shows just how much of a good bargain buy the defender has been for the club and why their recruitment team deserve a lot of credit for getting him to the club at such a low price, in our view.
Moving forward, with fellow Saints defender Jack Stephens out injured for the next few weeks after picking up a serious knee injury during the club’s 0-0 draw against Manchester City earlier in the season, we can see Hasenhuttl sticking with Bednarek in his side for the time being while Stephens recovers, and perhaps even beyond that.
Looking even further down the line, given how Bednarek is still only 25 and has another few years left on his current contract at St. Mary’s that isn’t set to expire until 2025, we feel that Bednarek’s market value could increase even further if he stays at the club and plays regularly for the foreseeable future.