Multiple media outlets are reporting that Southampton are close to signing Stade Brest left-back Romain Perraud for a fee of around £8.5m.
According to le10Sport.com, L’Equipe (via Foot Mercato) and Ryan Taylor of the Express, Saints are close to sealing the deal for their Ryan Bertrand replacement. Football Insider have since reported that personal terms have been agreed with Perraud.
If Perraud is to be arriving at St Mary’s in the near future, he will be joining former Stade Brest teammate Ibrahima Diallo there after his move from France last summer.
Southampton identify attack-minded full-back perfect for their system
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Looking at his stats from the 2020/21 season (via fbref.com), it is easy to see why Saints and other clubs identified Perraud as a potential signing.
Most notable are his contributions in attack from left-back. Only Memphis Depay of Lyon (17) and Zinedine Ferhat of Nimes (16) made more goal-creating passes from open play than Perraud’s 13 – a total that saw the 23-year-old level with PSG’s Kylian Mbappe.
As a defender though, he obviously needs to be able to defend. He was amongst the top five pressers in the defensive third of the pitch last season, made 70 blocks (7th of all Ligue 1 players) and made 108 tackles and interceptions (49th of all Ligue 1 players).
It is important to point out that he had more minutes on the pitch than many players playing in Ligue 1 last season but these are still hugely impressive numbers nonetheless and his fitness will also be a positive in the eyes of Saints.
With Perraud on one side of their defence and Kyle Walker-Peters on the other side, they could now have two flying full-backs who will provide the progressive running and creative passing that is so vital to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s system.
A potential fee of £8.5m is very cheap for a player who has proven ability in one of the top five leagues and he could prove to be an important part of the Saints team in years to come.