Southampton’s summer transfer window was one akin to Football Manager, with Ralph Hasenhuttl seemingly identifying some of the best wonderkids in the Premier League before bringing them to St Mary’s.
The Austrian looks to have struck gold with former Manchester City midfielder Romeo Lavia, as the Saints could have made a significant and almost instantaneous profit on the Belgian youngster during the summer.
The 18-year-old joined from Pep Guardiola’s side in a deal worth £14m and he quickly established himself as a first-team option in Hasenhuttl’s outfit, with the former RB Leipzig boss so confident in the teenager’s potential, that he allowed Oriol Romeu to move to Girona.
After a “brilliant” debut away at Tottenham Hotspur, despite the 4-1 defeat, Lavia was trusted to become James Ward-Prowse’s midfield partner, a role Southampton fans will be hoping he can continue in for the significant future.
Lavia has made just five appearances in the Premier League so far this season after injury derailed his progress, but the youngster looked incredibly promising in those appearances, averaging a strong 6.82 rating from WhoScored.
After scoring an equaliser in the 2-1 win over Chelsea earlier in the season, it seems as if the Blues felt a pang of jealousy towards Southampton’s impressive find, with reports suggesting that the Stamford Bridge outfit offered £50m for his services before the transfer deadline.
This represents a massive 257% increase on the fee that Southampton paid, but the fact that Chelsea weren’t able to sign the young midfielder suggests that the Saints perhaps believe that he has the potential to be worth even more in the future.
Lavia recently returned to training after his injury problems so it only seems a matter of time until he is back on the pitch, and Southampton’s decision to sign him from Manchester City will likely continue to look like a great piece of business if he can pick up where he left off before his spell on the sidelines.