Southampton and Spurs are reportedly in early talks over the potential transfer of defender Jannik Vestergaard to White Hart Lane.
According to a report from the Times, Spurs “have expressed their interest” to Saints and have him on their shortlist of centre-backs they want to sign this summer.
It sounds as though any talks that have taken place are at a preliminary stage, but Saints will certainly have a decision to make this summer. Vestergaard is currently with Denmark at Euro 2020 and will be preparing to take on England in the tournament’s semi-finals.
What fans can expect is good preparation for every eventuality from those at St Mary’s. Via a report from the Athletic’s Dan Sheldon recently, Saints are already identifying replacements for Vestergaard and could, therefore, be readying themselves for a sale.
Have Southampton already found their Vestergaard replacement?
Jannik Vestergaard is a huge part of Saints’ system and it will be a big task to replace him if he is to leave. In the 2020/21 season, it was his passing from defence, either through the middle or out to the flanks, that would often build attacks for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
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His adjustment to the speed of the Premier League has been very good since his arrival. Saints fans were concerned after viewing his first appearances given that that teams were regularly exposing his lack of pace, but have now seen him grow into one of the leading defenders in the top-flight.
Interestingly, Saints may have found a potential replacement if recent reports are correct.
Young Arsenal centre-back William Saliba has been linked and is reportedly available for a loan deal ahead of the upcoming season – it would be considered a real coup if they could get him.
Via fbref.com, Saliba completed 81.9% of his long passes in a temporary spell at Nice in 2020/21 and these are impressive numbers when considering that Vestergaard completed just 62.6% of his.
Standing at 1.93m, Saliba is of similar stature to Vestergaard too and could provide an aerial presence at both ends of the pitch.
It is important to note that Saliba played 20 top-flight games in France compared to Vestergaard’s 30 in England during the last campaign, but it appears that Saliba could provide some progressive passing to ease a potential loss of their main defender.