Despite having an average squad age of 26.1 according to Transfermarkt, Southampton’s two senior goalkeepers Alex McCarthy (31) and Fraser Forster (33) are two of the club’s four oldest players in their squad.
With this in mind, it’s not surprising to hear that they have been linked with a transfer move for a young goalkeeper that could become Southampton’s next long-term shot-stopper.
It has recently been reported by TEAMtalk that Southampton are showing an interest in Ajax goalkeeper Charlie Setford.
The report also claims that the 17-year-old, who apparently grew up as a Saints fan, has a number of other Premier League clubs keeping an eye on him as well.
As a product of Ajax’s youth academy, the teenager, who is currently valued at just £90k according to Transfermarkt, has made a total of 12 appearances for the Dutch club’s youth sides, keeping two clean sheets in the process.
This season has seen Setford make three league appearances for Ajax’s U21 side in which he has managed to make a total of eight saves.
The youngster has also been on the bench for nine of Ajax’s Eredivisie games, showing how close he is to the first team at such a young age.
Based on the above, it appears the teenager possesses plenty of potential. Thus, this could be a dream deal for Gao Jisheng to complete at a low price on a player that could grow and develop to have a big future at St. Mary’s as Hasenhuttl’s perfect long-term replacement for either McCarthy or Forster.
With The Athletic reporting back in August that McCarthy has put pen to paper on a new deal at the south coast club, it seems as though Setford may have to wait a few years if he does join Southampton before he can become their first-choice goalkeeper.
But with Forster’s current contract at the club set to expire in the summer, his potential exit could give Setford a place in Hasenhuttl’s squad to start competing for the number one spot. That would be an ideal solution for all parties.