Southampton recruited well over the summer, with the addition of Armel Bella-Kotchap the crowning jewel of their summer spending.
It, therefore, makes his recent injury even more of a blow, as Duje Caleta-Car and Mohammed Salisu have struggled in his absence. The Saints have won just once in their last eight Premier League games.
After performing so admirably, the young German defender clearly needs a new partner who can uphold the fine standards he sets with each passing week.
With the World Cup nearing now, it could provide the perfect scouting mission for one of their reported defensive targets, Mamadou Mbaye.
Having impressed with Cadiz FC in La Liga, the 24-year-old could still force his way into Senegal’s plans for a trip to Qatar this November. That said, he has a challenge in order to do so with the centre-back having not been capped by his country yet.
If he can secure an unlikely berth in their plans this winter, he could feature alongside one of the great defenders of his nation Kalidou Koulibaly, who he could replicate should he decide to move to the south coast of England.
Having only really burst onto the scene this season – in which he was labelled a “class act” by Darragh Collins – his average SofaScore rating (6.67) is hindered heavily by his debut; a 4-0 loss to Barcelona.
It has been a baptism of fire for the centre-back, but he still looks an incredibly promising athlete at the back.
Mbaye will be hoping that he could replicate the form of Koulibaly, who averages 2.03 tackles whilst ranking in the top 3% for dribbles completed. He uses his impressive frame and acceleration to bring the ball out from the back; something which Mbaye himself could do too.
Indeed, with a World Cup on the horizon, they must act quickly before the defender has his chance to show his ‘class’ on the biggest of stages.