Southampton have been credited with an interest in Chelsea defender Ethan Ampadu recently, and the Wales international could be a superb addition at St Mary’s.
According to Hampshire Live journalist Tom Leach, the 20-year-old centre-back is one of the names being considered as a replacement for Jannik Vestergaard at Southampton this summer.
He wrote: “Still at Chelsea and seemingly destined for a season on the sidelines, Ethan Ampadu could be available for transfer this summer.
“Now aged 20, the Exeter City academy graduate could tick boxes in both midfield and defence at Southampton.
“There would be some concerns for fans, with Ampadu having been relegated last season with Sheffield United, even if he did impress during his time with Hasenhuttl’s former club RB Leipzig.
“However, should Chelsea decide that he is only available for a loan move, Saints would be out of the race with the club unable to sign another player on loan from Stamford Bridge after bringing youngster Armando Broja to the south coast.”
Ampadu’s chances of featuring in the first team at Chelsea this season look slim when you consider the options Thomas Tuchel has available to him in defence and midfield.
Considering that Trevoh Chalobah was named ahead of the Welshman in Chelsea’s starting lineup against Crystal Palace in their opening Premier League game (and scoring), with Ampadu failing to even make the bench, you could argue that the latter needs either another loan or a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge this season.
As Leach suggests, a loan move for the centre-back would be impossible, but they have already done several deals with Chelsea this summer and could use their contacts there to negotiate another deal for the £13.5m-rated youngster.
Although you could argue that Southampton are in need of an experienced head at the back, Ampadu seems to fit their transfer plans perfectly. He is young, has Premier League experience and can feature in both defence and midfield, which is something Hasenhuttl has suggested that he wants from any defender they sign between now and the end of the window.
The 20-year-old also has plenty of experience playing for his country and was praised by Wales manager Rob Page last season, who said: “He has a lot of strings to his bow and it is great to have a versatile player like that.”
Therefore, if Chelsea are willing to let Ampadu leave on a permanent deal, then Southampton should definitely look to bring him in, as he seems to be the sort of tactically flexible player that Hasenhuttl would love to have in his squad.