Southampton have been linked with a move for Sporting Lisbon winger Jovane Cabral in recent weeks and if the Saints can sign him, he could be the man to replace Nathan Redmond in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad.
According to Portuguese news outlet A Bola (via Sport Witness), both Southampton and West Ham remain interested in the 22-year-old, with the Hammers having fallen short with a bid during the summer transfer window.
So far this season, the Cape Verde international has made six appearances in the Liga NOS for Sporting, in which he has contributed two goals and one assist, resulting in a solid average rating of 6.76 (per WhoScored).
The youngster performed superbly in the Portuguese top-flight last season, as he scored six goals and contributed two assists in just 16 appearances. He also earned four man-of-the-match awards in that time, which led to him averaging a superb 7.17 rating, so it was no surprise to see the likes of Southampton and West Ham credited with an interest in him.
Cabral’s former teammate, and current Manchester United star, Bruno Fernandes, certainly seems to be a big fan of the young winger, as he revealed in an interview with Canal 11 (via Inside Futbol) that:
“I didn’t teach him anything. What he did in the game is down to his quality, his ability.
“What I did was simply text Jovane before the game, talked to him a little.
“I had already told him after the game in Guimaraes that I wanted to talk to him.
“Jovane in the past has had his ups and downs, many ups and downs, and I think it was always due to the fact that he stayed a little moonstruck when things went well and very low when things went wrong.
“So I tried to have a conversation with him in such a way that he kept his focus, that he did not get carried away by the fact that in Guimaraes he had a good game.
“In my opinion, he did not have a great game because I know Jovane’s quality and I think he can give more.”
If Southampton were to sign the £9 million-rated Cabral and if he were to have anywhere near the impact that Fernandes has had since joining Manchester United, then he would surely prove to be a very good signing indeed.
With WhoScored suggesting that Cabral has a lot of attractive strengths for a winger, including his ability to finish and play key passes, it would perhaps not be a surprise to see him replace Redmond in Hasenhuttl’s squad, considering the Englishman has failed to contribute a single goal or an assist so far this season.
It will be interesting to see whether Southampton are able to see off interest from West Ham to bring Cabral to the club in the January transfer window.