Duje Caleta-Car is reportedly on Southampton’s shortlist to replace Jannik Vestergaard this summer and he could be the next Dejan Lovren at St Mary’s.
According to Hampshire Live journalist Tom Leach, Caleta-Car, alongside Ozan Kabak and Gary Cahill, is a candidate to replace Vestergaard in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side following his £15m move to Leicester City earlier this month.
After conceding the second-most goals in the Premier League last season and collapsing in the second half against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday, it seems clear that the Saints need to add some quality to their backline, or they risk being dragged into a relegation battle this season.
Caleta-Car has established himself as a regular at Marseille in the past three seasons, making 91 appearances, in which he has contributed three goals and two assists.
Last season saw the Croatia international make 33 appearances in Ligue 1, averaging a solid 6.72 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
The similarities between Caleta-Car and Lovren are clear to see, as both are Croatian centre-backs who have made a name for themselves in Ligue 1, with the latter featuring regularly for Lyon before his move to St Mary’s in 2013.
After a superb debut season in Mauricio Pochettino’s side, he would go on to join Liverpool, where he would help them win the Premier League and Champions League under Jurgen Klopp, so if Caleta-Car proved to be anywhere near as good as his Croatian compatriot, then he could be a very good signing indeed.
Lovren has also sung the praises of the Marseille man in the past and has recommended him for a Premier League move, saying:
“In my opinion, Duje could easily play in England.
“He is physically very strong, stronger than other players. He will explode in a few years and become even stronger.”