Southampton have been linked with a move for Metz centre-back Boubakar Kouyate recently and if Martin Semmens can bring him to St Mary’s this summer, he could help to solve a key issue in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
According to French news outlet L’Equipe (via Pink Un), both Southampton and Norwich City are keen on signing the 24-year-old defender after his impressive debut campaign with Les Grenats.
In 23 appearances, the six-foot-four centre-back has contributed one goal and averaged a superb 7.14 rating for his displays, if he were to have replicated those performances with Southampton in the Premier League this season, he would be rated as the best performer in Hasenhuttl’s squad.
This immediately marks him out as someone who could be a good addition to the Austrian’s squad this summer, and he could be one of several additions ahead of next season, which will help address the serious lack of strength in depth at the South Coast club.
Earlier in the season, when both Jannik Vestergaard and Mohammed Salisu were out injured, Hasenhuttl was left with just two fit centre-backs in Jan Bednarek and Jack Stephens, and this run of games with the Englishman at the back saw the Saints win one and lose six in the Premier League in 2021, including the embarrassing 9-0 defeat against Manchester United.
The 27-year-old has averaged a disappointing 6.54 rating across his 13 appearances in the Premier League this season, and has won on average 1.4 aerials, 1.8 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game.
Kouyate meanwhile, averages 3.8 aerials won per game, 2.4 tackles and 2.4 interceptions per game, so clearly seems to have the edge over Stephens.
His passing is also impressive, as he has averaged an 80.4% pass success rate this season, which again is more impressive than Stephens’ 74.1% average, which suggests that he would be a huge upgrade on the Englishman in Southampton’s side and that he would fit in well with Hasenhuttl’s style of play.
Therefore, Kouyate’s signing would help to solve the key issue of depth in Hasenhuttl’s side this season and give the Saints a good chance of a more impressive 2021/22 campaign. Semmens must push to get a deal done.