Southampton’s reported hopes of signing Arnaut Danjuma this summer are over after the Dutch winger completed a move to Villarreal earlier this week.
Southampton were heavily linked with the 24-year-old earlier in the transfer window, with the impressive winger perhaps always likely to earn a move away from Bournemouth after a superb campaign in the Championship.
A move to St Mary’s certainly would have made geographical sense for Danjuma, although the finances involved were perhaps a sticking point for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, as the Cherries were eventually able to sell him for £21.3m to Europa League holders Villarreal earlier this week.
However, the Saints have plenty of funds in the bank following the sales of Danny Ings, Jannik Vestergaard and Mario Lemina, and whilst a winger was never likely to be a priority for Hasenhuttl, Danjuma could have been an upgrade on the Austrian’s current options out wide.
Based on his performances in 2020/21, Danjuma could have been a superb addition at St Mary’s this summer, as goals from out wide were hard to come by for the Saints last season. The former Club Brugge man contributed a superb 17 goals and seven assists in 35 appearances in the second tier, averaging an impressive 7.21 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
At Southampton, on the other hand, Stuart Armstrong, Moussa Djenepo, Theo Walcott and Nathan Redmond managed just 10 top-flight goals between them, with Hasenhuttl’s side very reliant on the likes of Ings, Che Adams and James Ward-Prowse to find the net.
Clinton Morrison was full of praise for Danjuma last season, saying: “Danjuma is an excellent player, whatever happens, he will be playing Premier League football next year, whether it’s with Bournemouth or without them, he’s an exceptional talent.”
Unfortunately, it seems as if Southampton were unwilling to match Bournemouth’s asking price for the 24-year-old, which will surely frustrate their fans as you could definitely argue that the Saints need to strengthen their options out wide if they are to progress as a Premier League club.