Premier League

Forget Gudmundsson: Southampton should sign Bologna’s unique £12.6m-rated winger

The Southampton fans were delighted in the Transfer Tavern earlier this week after the club confirmed the departure of Mauricio Pellegrino following a barren run of form which saw The Saints record just 1 win from 17 league matches. 

Mauricio Pellegrino had been one of the most unpopular men in Southampton for quite some time before he was eventually dismissed by the club on Monday evening, and the supporters are hoping that his departure has not arrived too late this season. With only 8 fixtures left to play it was undoubtedly a risky time for the board to make such a bold decision, but considering the rate of the clubs decline it’s difficult to argue with the decision.

According to reports in The Sun, the club are thinking beyond their next managerial appointment and towards the summer transfer window, as Johann Berg Gudmundsson has emerged as a target for the south-coast outfit thanks to a series of impressive performances for Burnley this season.

His form for The Clarets has been one of the most important components of their brilliant season so far, but despite this, Southampton should abandon their interest in the Icelandic international and instead focus their attention on Bologna’s Simone Verdi (valued at £12.6 million by Transfermarkt).

So far this season, Verdi has scored 6 goals and provided 7 assists for his side during 24 league appearances, and his impact on the mid-table Serie A side almost earned him a mid-season transfer to Napoli in January, however, the Italian international eventually decided against a move due to concerns over first-team opportunities at the club.

Verdi is a unique player due to his ambidextrous ability to strike the ball with both feet to equal effect – a fact which he demonstrated most explicitly when he achieved the staggering achievement of scoring two free-kicks in the same match by using different feet back in November 2017.

The 25-year-old midfielder would represent slightly more of a risk than Gudmundsson due to the fact he is lacking Premier League experience, but it’s a risk worth that would be well worth taking considering the huge level of ability he has consistently shown in the Italian top-flight so far this season.

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