Over the past five years, Southampton have lost a number of their top talents to Premier League rivals like Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. But now it seems they could rip up the script by bringing in Spurs defender Kevin Wimmer.
The Saints are 2/1 to add the 24-year-old to their ranks, following a frustrating couple of years at White Hart Lane, and while the Lilwyhites are holding out for a sizeable £20m fee, there’s reason to believe he’d be worth every penny.
He may never have got a proper run in the Spurs side, but…
He proved himself in the Bundesliga
While we’ll never settle the discussion over what Europe’s top league is, it’s fair to say there’s not a huge deal of difference in quality between the Premier League and the German top-flight. And while Wimmer hasn’t yet had a good chance to prove himself in the former, he showed his quality during a year in the Bundesliga.
The Austrian helped newly-promoted 1.FC Koln keep 12 clean sheets during his 32 top-flight outings, including shutouts against the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04, as he produced a string of imperious and classy defensive displays.
With that season now under his belt, as well as 15 Premier League outings for Spurs (including games against the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal), he’d be likely to reach at least that level of performance again, with a first-team spot at St Mary’s.
He’s an ideal long-term replacement for Van Dijk
Southampton look to have successfully fended off interest for Virgil van Dijk this summer, but it seems unlikely he’ll stay on the South Coast indefinitely. So bringing in Wimmer this season would give Saints the chance to start blooding him as a defensive leader.
At just 24-years-old, the best years of Wimmer’s career are surely still ahead of him – though his composure on the ball, intelligent reading of the game and physical strength all serve to make him a logical replacement for the Dutchman, when he does eventually head to pastures new.
He’d be desperate to prove Tottenham wrong
Having joined for a reasonable sum from Koln, with his reputation flourishing, it’s fair to say the former LASK Linz prodigy will have been disappointed not to get a decent crack at the first-team.
Failing to break up the defensive partnership of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen – arguably the Premier League’s best centre-back duo is no reflection on Wimmer’s quality. But chances are he’ll be desperate to show just what he’s capable of in English football.
That means snapping him up this summer could prove the ideal timing for the Saints – and make paying the £20m requested a worthwhile use of their transfer kitty.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing