Five centre back possibilities for Koeman to bring to Southampton
Ronald Koeman has said he wants at least two centre backs to complete his summer spending at Southampton, following the club’s failure to convince Toby Alderweireld to sign on a permanent basis after spending a season on loan. With Florin Gardos now injured for six months, it means the Saints need their rearguard strengthening as a matter of urgency.
Southampton are 11/4 with Coral to finish in the Premier League top six next season, and are also competing in the Europa League, which means they need reinforcements. As a result, Coral take a look at five possible options that they could bring in.
Koeman’s compatriot is a bright prospect for the Netherlands, at only 23, though is yet to start a Euro 2016 qualifier. A key component of Frank de Boer’s Ajax outfit, where he scored six goals last term, he can continue his development in a similar vein at Southampton, under the guidance of a Dutch legend.
Espanyol’s Mexican centre half, epitomises Southampton’s philosophy in his style of football. Comfortable with the ball at his feet, he is able to play out from the back with ease and is an astute reader of the game. At 27, he has the maturity to become a mainstay in the Saints’ back four and be an automatic replacement for Alderweireld.
Blessed with talent, the Marseille man would be a huge coup for the Saints if they could land him. The Cameroon international has pace to burn, is strong in the tackle and anticipates the pattern of play. Also aerially dominant, if he comes across Koeman’s radar, the 25-year-old would be a great recruit.
A La Masia graduate at Barcelona, the centre back moved to Celta Vigo in 2013 and has been a mainstay in the team since, steadily proving his worth. At only 25, he has a bright future and would suit Southampton, though Italian outfit Genoa are thought to be interested. He is technically good, due to his tutelage at Barcelona and also physically strong.
Virgil van Dijk
Apparently, the 24-year-old wants to leave Celtic, and he could well be the perfect candidate to replace Alderweireld. He would also link up with compatriot Koeman and has everything to become a success at the Saints, including European experience, due to playing in the Champions League for the Scottish Champions.