Standing outside the drop zone just on goal difference, Mauricio Pellegrino’s Southampton side are not doing justice to the quality in the squad and the manager is desperate to shake things up and get them back to winning ways. The January transfer window will give him just the perfect chance to add fresh faces to the squad, which can improve the overall mood and form of the team.
Pellegrino has a seriously envious scouting system at the club, which has found some of the finest stars in Europe and the next player Southampton are desperate for is Atletico Madrid star, Nicolas Gaitán.
A transfer target for Manchester United not so long ago, Gaitán is once again back on the radar of English clubs with the likes of Everton, Watford and West Ham United all interested in his services, along with Southampton.
Spanish news outfit Marca have today run a story claiming that the player wanted to be dropped for the club’s game this weekend to remain injury-free for a transfer out of the club. The La Liga outfit are ready to listen to offers of around £18m, which could be enough to land him. The player is reportedly keen on a move back to his former club Boca Juniors, in a bid to save his place in the Argentine national team for the World Cup this year but is Southampton a decent destination?
Gaitán and his attributes
A product of the Boca Juniors academy, Gaitán broke into Europe in his stint with SL Benfica, where he made 152 league appearances in just six seasons at the club. He joined Atletico Madrid at the start of the previous season but has failed to cement a place in the first team under Diego Simeone, making just a start each in the domestic league and the UCL.
A versatile winger, who can play as a part of the midfield, the 29-year old can play on either flank and is one of the most gifted footballers at the Metropolitano at the moment. Strong in the air and hold up play, he is adept at making interceptions and winning the ball back quickly. But his ability to thread through balls with precision makes him that much more dangerous.
He loves a crunching tackle and is quick to turn defence into the attack while his ability on the dead-ball is also commendable. He is a gifted player and at 29, is in his prime as a footballer. He may not be the best player around but is definitely a player most clubs would want to have in their side.
Chances at St Mary’s
The Saints have a decent squad that has troubled even the best teams in the league this season. Pellegrino has used a 4-2-3-1 system for most games this season, which leaves Gaitán with the two places in the attacking midfield. He can also play through the middle but with Dusan Tadic and Steven Davis doing a decent job there, he is only expected to play on the wing.
Nathan Redmond remains the first choice for Pellegrino but the lack of form of the English winger might see Gaitán get his chances in this preferred role. James Ward-Prowse and Dusan Tadic have taken turns on the other flank and Gaitán, if needed, can also cover for this role.
He does give the Southampton attack an extra spark and will also improve them as a defensive unit, having an effect at both ends of the field. However, he may not be able to walk into the first team and might have to fight for a place, showing grit and hard-work on the training ground.
At £18m, he is certainly a steal in the current transfer market but do you think Southampton to invest as much on him?