Southampton are reportedly interested in signing Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards this summer and the USA international could be a superb addition to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad.
A number of Premier League sides, including Southampton, Crystal Palace and Leeds United are said to be interested in signing the 22-year-old this summer after an impressive loan spell with Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.
According to journalist Ben Jacobs:
“Sources tell me Marsch [Leeds manager] is still considering USMNT defender Chris Richards, though nothing beyond that yet. Interest from Southampton and Palace plus a number of Spanish clubs also considering a move.”
Southampton’s transfer policy this summer has been clear to see.
Gavin Bazunu, Romeo Lavia, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Mateusz Lis and Joe Aribo have all joined the club, with the latter the oldest at just 25 years old.
Hasenhuttl is also evidently looking to overhaul a defence that shipped 67 goals in the Premier League last season, the fourth-most of any side in the top-flight.
A new ‘keeper and centre-back has already arrived at St Mary’s, and Richards could be another young defensive option capable of improving the Austrian’s backline.
The Bayern Munich man, who has also featured at right-back and left-back in his career, has been limited to just ten senior appearances for the Bundesliga giants since signing from FC Dallas, but made 21 appearances in a loan spell at Hoffenheim last season.
WhoScored suggests that Richards’ main strengths include aerial duels, passing and tackling, which is everything you want from a modern centre-back.
The 22-year-old has earned praise from USA manager Gregg Berhalter, who said:
“Chris is one of our central defenders of the future. I like his development very much. I find the cooperation between Bayern and the USSF to be outstanding. Together we’re trying to develop a great player from a great talent.”
Therefore, it seems clear that Richards has a bright future and given Hasenhuttl’s preference for developing young players, he would surely love to bring the American to St Mary’s this summer.