According to a recent report from The Daily Mail, Wolves have joined Southampton in the race for Shoya Nakajima. The 24-year-old winger currently plays his football at Portuguese side Portimonense and has done so since the start of last season, initially moving to the Primeira Liga outfit on loan before impressing so much as to earn himself a permanent deal.
Yet reports suggest that Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves are seeking to lure him to the Premier League, and with Southampton having also been linked with the £13.5 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) in recent times, the Saints simply must beat Wolves to his signature in a bid to upgrade upon summer flop Mohamed Elyounoussi.
Ultimately, there was much excitement and anticipation among Southampton fans when their side secured a deal for Elyounoussi during the summer, what with the 24-year-old impressing greatly at Basel to suggest that he could help solve the Saints’ woes in the final third of the pitch.
However, things simply haven’t worked out at all well for the Norway international so far with just ten Premier League appearances to his name, in which time he has failed to score a goal or lay on an assist – he hasn’t looked even close to the man that was ripping up the Swiss league in years gone by.
And with the South Coast outfit, now under the stewardship of new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, very much in a relegation dog-fight, January looks set to be a vital month and one they must get right – fending off Wolves for Nakajima would be a start.
The 24-year-old has been in scintillating form since making the move to Portimonense back in the summer of 2017, netting ten goals and laying on 12 assists for the club last season in their run to tenth place in the Portuguese top-flight.
The move was made permanent back in January of this year given just how impressive the Japan international had been, and he has continued to deliver the goods this time round as well with five goals and four assists in just ten Primeira Liga games – he appears to be playing the best football of his career.
And Southampton are clearly in need of that sort of flair and dynamism in the final third of the field if they are to pull clear of the relegation zone – the sort of flair they had hoped to get from Elyounoussi, but to no avail.
Yes, Santo’s Wolves may be tough to beat to the 24-year-old given they are in a much better position than the Saints in the table, and as such appear to be a more attractive proposition, but given record signing Adama Traore, also a winger, is struggling to get into the first team, it doesn’t looks as though Nakajima would be a shoe-in for a starting role.
That is much more likely at Southampton though at the expense of Norway’s Elyounoussi, which is why the Saints simply have to beat Wolves to the 24-year-old’s signature come the New Year.
Southampton and Wolves fans… what do you think? Let us know!