Southampton: Saints keen on promising Japan international defender

If a recent report is to be believed, Southampton could have found a promising replacement for Cedric Soares at right-back.

According to calciomercato.com, Saints are interested in young Bologna full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu who has enjoyed an impressive 2019/20 season in Serie A.

The 21-year-old is also attracting the likes of Roma and West Ham though according to their article, so Saints will know they have some significant competition for his signature.

If it is a real chance of first-team action that Tomiyasu is looking for though, he would not have to look much further than St Mary’s.

Saints are in real need of additional full-backs after seeing Cedric and Matt Targett depart for Arsenal and Aston Villa respectively over the past year.

Takehiro Tomiyasu of Japan (Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images)

Yan Valery and Ryan Bertrand remain Ralph Hasenhuttl’s only permanent options at right-back and left-back, with Kyle Walker-Peters only on a short-term loan deal from Spurs.

There is potential for Walker-Peters to sign permanently on the South Coast is he impresses in the final nine Premier League games of the 2019/20 campaign – a swap deal involving Spurs transfer target Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has been mentioned.

If this is not realistic though, Tomiyasu could be a superb investment for the future.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s transfer plans aim to bring in young players who will grow with the club under his leadership and go on to become real talents.

Looking at his status and statistics at Bologna show that Tomiyasu could fit these characteristics well.

He joined Bologna for around £8m at the beginning of the 2019/20 season and has gone on to make 21 appearances in his first campaign in the Italian top-flight.

In doing so, he has made the right-back role his own in a solid team setup that has led Bologna to 10th so far.

Via whoscored.com, we can also see that he averages 1.6 tackles, 1.8 interceptions and 2.3 clearances per game – good all-round numbers for someone still learning his trade.

The man who has been capped 18 times by Japan already is also economical in possession, completing 81.7% of his passes this year.

It may be hard for Saints to steal a signing like this from under the nose of a club like Roma, but at least they are reportedly looking at the right type of player to build for the future now.

Next: Transfer window could be extended for Saints and others
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