Southampton are reportedly interested in Nottingham Forest centre-back Joe Worrall as Ralph Hasenhuttl continues his search for a Jannik Vestergaard heir at St Mary’s.
According to Hampshire Live journalist Tom Leach, Southampton are considering a move for the 24-year-old this summer, along with Burnley, Brentford, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Norwich City.
The Championship club are said to value the powerful centre-back at between £10m and £12m as he is contracted at the City Ground until 2024. That suggests he could be an affordable option for the Saints before the window shuts, as they have plenty of money in the bank following the departures of Danny Ings and Vestergaard.
Despite being relatively young, Worrall has plenty of experience in the Championship having amassed 137 appearances for Forest in his career thus far, whilst he also spent a year on loan with Rangers, which gave him the opportunity to feature in the Europa League.
During his time at Ibrox, Gerrard was a big fan of the defender and sang his praises in 2019, saying: “I thought Joe Worrall was outstanding. What a big goal to keep his team in the cup.
“It was a Man of the Match performance, and he will be a captain of whatever team he plays for. He is a leader and he stepped up today.”
You could certainly argue that Southampton are missing a leader at the back when you look at the way they collapsed in the second half against Everton last weekend, so Worrall could help to organise the Saints’ shaky defence this season should he arrive at St Mary’s.
Although he doesn’t have any experience in the Premier League, his performances in the Championship in the last two seasons have been very solid; and at just 24, he has plenty of time to improve and adapt to the demands of top-flight football.
Therefore, he seems to fit the bill perfectly for Southampton in terms of what they need and the money they can offer, so Saints fans must surely be delighted to hear that he is on the shortlist of names to potentially join the club before the transfer window shuts.