Southampton have been linked with Jan Kuchta and Aaron Boupendza in recent weeks, with both touted as potential replacements for Danny Ings in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, so here is the Football FanCast verdict on who we think would be the better fit at the South Coast club.
According to Football Insider, Southampton are one of several Premier League clubs keeping an eye on Kuchta after his impressive debut season with Slavia Prague.
At the time of writing, the 24-year-old has contributed 11 goals and five assists in 18 league appearances, whilst he has also played an important part in the Czech side’s impressive run in the Europa League, with two goals and two assists to his name in eight appearances in that competition.
Kuchta only arrived at Slavia Prague last summer, joining from Slovan Liberec, but his impressive performances this season certainly suggest that he could be on the move again ahead of next season.
According to 90min, Southampton are also eyeing a move for Hatayspor forward Boupendza, with a host of Premier League and SPL clubs also credited with an interest in the Gabon international.
The 24-year-old only made the move to Turkey last summer, signing on a free transfer from Bordeaux, but has dazzled in his first season with Hatayspor, contributing 18 goals in 26 league appearances.
The report suggests that Southampton have regularly sent scouts to keep an eye on the £6.3 million-rated Boupendza this season and are lining him up as a potential option to replace Ings should he depart this summer.
Kuchta and Boupendza are both 24 and have similar goal records this season, although the Czech striker looks to have the edge when it comes to providing assists.
However, he is playing in a Slavia Prague side that are comfortable at the top of their division, whereas Boupendza is impressing in a Hatayspor side that currently sit seventh in the Turkish top-flight, so you could argue that Kuchta might struggle to score as often in a side that doesn’t dominate most of the games they play.
Boupendza has more goals this season and he can also play on the left-wing and given Hasenhuttl’s preference for versatile players, it seems that the Gabon international would be a better fit at the Saints.
Therefore, our verdict is that Martin Semmens should, if forced to make a choice between the two, forget about Kuchta and instead focus on trying to bring Boupendza to St Mary’s this summer.
And, in other news… Hasenhuttl suffers transfer blow as European giants enter race for £25.8m beast