Opinion

Ambitious raid on Chelsea lynchpin would be Southampton’s best move in years

Ambitious raid on Chelsea lynchpin would be Southampton’s best move in years

One area that Southampton will be looking to strengthen this summer in particular is up front.

Charlie Austin’s injury record combined with Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long’s constant struggles in front of goal means the Saints are hardly blessed with reliable options in that area of the squad right now. However, since Virgil van Dijk’s mega-money move to Liverpool, the club have also looked a bit light at the back.

Southampton’s defence in the just gone Premier League season by no means was the worst – the likes of Everton, Leicester City and West Ham all conceded more, for example – and in central defence Wesley Hoedt, Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens are fairly decent options to have.

But in van Dijk’s departure to Anfield, Southampton lost a lot of experience, leadership and overall a consistent level of good defending that Hughes should now look to replace. And one player who could potentially fill the void left behind by van Dijk is Chelsea captain Gary Cahill.

Cahill, who is valued at £13.5m by Transfermarkt, could be found surplus to requirements at Chelsea by the likely successor to Antonio Conte: Maurizio Sarri.

According to the Daily Express, Sarri could be appointed as Chelsea manager – at the expense of Conte – this week, which would spell bad news for Cahill. The former Napoli manager is adamant on his central defenders building up play and bringing the ball out of defence – something that Cahill isn’t capable of.

Furthermore, Cahill could be available this transfer window, and Southampton should be all over a deal for the 32-year-old if this turns out to be the case.

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