Southampton were handed a significant blow recently, as it was confirmed that centre-back Jannik Vestergaard is set to miss around four weeks of action due to injury.
Whilst Jack Stephens filled in well against Fulham on Boxing Day, the injury to Vestergaard means that the South Coast club have just three senior centre-backs available to them, which includes Mohammed Salisu, who is yet to make his debut for the club.
Therefore, the Saints should consider adding another centre-back to their ranks in the upcoming January transfer window, especially as we are now in the busiest period of the season in terms of fixtures.
Hasenhuttl’s side, along with Fulham and Newcastle, were both recently linked with Vitoria Guimaraes defender Jorge Fernandes, following his impressive start to the season with the Liga NOS side.
According to the Daily Mail, several Premier League sides including Southampton are taking an interest in the 23-year-old ahead of the winter transfer window.
Despite signing him for less than £1 million in the summer transfer window, his excellent start means the Portuguese side currently value the former Porto man at around £16 million.
This is perhaps no surprise, as in the eight league games he has played so far this season, Vitoria have kept clean sheets in six, conceding just two goals in total.
With his 6ft 4in frame, Fernandes could be the ideal replacement for Vestergaard in the Southampton defence whilst the 28-year-old is sidelined, as he has been a huge threat from set-pieces so far this season, so adding Fernandes could help re-establish that threat.
The Portuguese defender could definitely take advantage of James Ward-Prowse’s pinpoint delivery should he be signed in January and considering his strong performances this season, this definitely looks to be a deal that Martin Semmens should consider.
His performances in the league have seen him average a 6.86 rating, which is better than Jack Stephens’ average rating so far this season and only marginally worse than Jan Bednarek’s, so it could definitely be argued that Fernandes would be a worthwhile addition in January, so perhaps we will see the Saints bring him in following the update on Vestergaard’s injury.
And, in other news… Southampton ace who won a whopping 17 duels will have Hasenhuttl drooling