Southampton could seal transfer for Diallo’s talented former teammate

Southampton could reportedly be set to sign Stade Brestois defender Romain Perraud as their replacement for the outgoing Ryan Bertrand.

According to a report from L’Equipe – detailed by Sports Witness – Saints are leading Leeds and Newcastle as they push for a deal that could cost over €10m.

L’Equipe describe Saints as favourites given that they had dealings with Stade Brestois last summer. Ibrahima Diallo arrived for around €12m from the Ligue 1 outfit and has proven to be a player of great potential in midfield.

Perraud is relatively inexperienced at the highest level having had just two seasons in the French top-flight but it appears that Saints may have seen the potential in him and are ready to strike a deal.

Brest’s French defender Romain Perraud (R) (Photo by DAMIEN MEYER / AFP) (Photo by DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images)

Southampton must find all-round consistency to replace Bertrand

Seeing Ryan Bertrand leave is a blow to Saints. He was a vastly experienced player who had been at the club through the good and bad times and had been able to show significant consistency to hold down his place for much of his seven years at St Mary’s.

His departure does also provide an opportunity to look towards the future though. Perraud is still young at 23 but will bring potential to grow with the team and more long-term value to the club.

Looking at some stats from fbref.com, it seems as though Perraud will be a good fit even if he will need to adapt his game to fit in at Saints.

Brest press at a similar rate to Saints and made the 4th-most pressures of any team in Ligue 1 last season. Many of Perraud’s own pressures were in the defensive third of the pitch, with just under a third of his pressures in this area resulting in the ball being won back.

On the other hand, Bertrand pressed most in the middle third of the pitch and also a significant chunk in the defensive third as Saints squeezed their opponents up the pitch. 38.8% of his pressures of the ball resulted in possession returning to his side, meaning that Perraud has some learning to do to fit in with the patterns of his potential new side.

The fact that he scored three goals and assisted a further seven in the 2020/21 season shows that he will be a big asset for the team that signs him this summer.