Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted recently that the Saints were keen on signing Timothy Castagne last summer and after his impressive debut season with Leicester City, it seems clear that they missed out on a great signing.
Ahead of Friday evening’s clash between the two teams, which finished 1-1, the Austrian confirmed: “I only remember in the summer when we had an eye on Castagne, but for us as soon as they are in the duel, then we have no chance to get him.”
The Foxes brought in the Belgium international from Atalanta in a reported £21.5m deal and he has been a regular in Brendan Rodgers’ side so far this season, as they close in on a top four spot and Champions League football ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
In 23 top-flight appearances for Leicester, the 25-year-old has contributed two goals and three assists, averaging an impressive 6.98 WhoScored rating for his performances.
Considering how desperate Southampton were for full-back cover in January, with Jake Vokins and Yan Valery both sent out on loan, having someone such as Castagne available to Hasenhuttl would have been ideal, especially as he has featured as both a right-back and a left-back regularly in his career.
He could’ve provided excellent cover for Ryan Bertrand and Kyle Walker-Peters at the back, and given his impressive season thus far, he certainly could’ve established himself as first choice in either of those positions in Hasenhuttl’s side.
Bertrand has had a really disappointing season and looks set to leave in the summer when his contract expires, so having Castagne available as a ready-made replacement would have also been very helpful for the Saints, as they are now likely to be desperately trying to sign a left-back this summer.
After the 25-year-old scored on his debut in the 3-0 win against West Brom, Rodgers was full of praise for the Belgian, saying: “I’ve watched Timothy Castagne for a number of years – he fits the profile of how I want to work. He’s fast, non-stop running – he wants to score but he can defend – good composure. He’s a brilliant signing for us. He’ll prove to be a really good asset for us.”
Therefore, it seems that Castagne would’ve been perfect for Southampton this season, and Martin Semmens should be questioned for his failure to stump up the necessary funds to bring him to St Mary’s.