In a recent exclusive interview, Carlton Palmer has suggested that Southampton should look to sign Crystal Palace left-back Jeffrey Schlupp as a replacement for the outgoing Ryan Bertrand this summer.
The former Sheffield Wednesday man was asked by ThisisFutbol about whether or not the Saints should target the former Leicester City man, and replied:
“Yeah, obviously. I mean, there’s no risk, is there? There’s no risk.
“Left-backs are hard to come by, left-footed left-backs who can play are hard to come by. It’s very, very difficult.
“Losing Bertrand, it will be a problem for them.”
Southampton will certainly be in the market for a left-back this summer following the news that the 31-year-old Bertrand would leave on the expiry of his contract, with a move to Leicester City seemingly on the cards for the former Chelsea man.
This leaves just Jake Vokins available as a natural option in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad ahead of next season and considering his lack of game time on loan at Sunderland in the second half of the season, it is difficult to see him being given a chance.
Whilst Mohammed Salisu has done well on occasion at left-back this season, his future should be at centre-back, so the Austrian has to bring in a replacement for Bertrand, and Schlupp could be the ideal man.
The 28-year-old’s contract with Crystal Palace is set to expire later this month, so he could potentially move to St Mary’s on a free transfer if he decides to leave Selhurst Park for good.
The Ghana international is extremely versatile so could feature in a number of positions for Hasenhuttl next season, and his experience in the top-flight also makes him a very attractive proposition ahead of the summer.
Former Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson was full of praise for Schlupp back in 2019, saying:
“He is a very, very important player. I think he’s one of those underrated players because he’s not spectacular.
“He can be [spectacular] when he gets on a run with the ball. He’s very strong, he’s a very good runner with the ball, a good striker with the ball.”
Therefore, Martin Semmens should definitely look to sign Schlupp this summer as he is cheap, versatile and experienced so could prove to be an extremely valuable member of the Saints squad for the next few seasons.