Southampton are reportedly one of the Premier League clubs most interested in signing Brentford left-back Rico Henry, and if he were to make the move to St Mary’s, he could be a great addition to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
According to the Evening Standard, Henry is likely to be a Premier League player next season regardless of whether or not the Bees earn promotion, and Southampton are leading the interest in the 23-year-old.
The Saints are clearly in the market for a left-back, as they have just Ryan Bertrand available as a natural option in the current squad, and his contract is currently set to expire at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Jake Vokins’ lack of appearances on loan with Sunderland in League One suggests that he is some way off becoming a regular with the Saints, so signing someone such as Henry would make a lot of sense for Hasenhuttl.
Henry was a mainstay in Thomas Frank’s side last season as they narrowly missed out on promotion after losing to Fulham in the play-off final, as he appeared in all 49 of their fixtures, averaging a solid 6.83 WhoScored rating.
During his time at Walsall, current Aston Villa manager Dean Smith suggested that Henry was destined for a career at the top, saying: “If I were to liken him to anyone it would be a young Ashley Cole. And it’s up to him how far he can now go in the game.”
He later described the young defender as “something special” as a result of his impressive performances for Walsall as a teenager, and having now established himself as a top left-back in the Championship, it seems clear that the 23-year-old is ready for a move to the top flight.
If Martin Semmens can convince Henry to make the switch to the south coast, it could prove to be an excellent signing. Even if Bertrand ends up prolonging his stay at St Mary’s, Henry could then go on to be his ideal long-term successor.