All the talk at Southampton has been about the south coast club signing new forwards.
Ralph Hasenhuttl currently has a No.9-shaped problem, while he could probably do with adding a new winger to his squad, too.
But as well as that, the Austrian could also look to strengthen his defence, with the Daily Mirror reporting that Southampton are interested in Chelsea’s Gary Cahill.
How, though, does the 33-year-old compare to one of the Saints’ last defensive signings, Jannik Vestergaard?
Set to be available to sign on a free transfer, this season has been one to forget for Cahill.
The former England international has barely had a look in, with Maurizio Sarri deeming him as not suitable for his style of football (ESPN).
Even so, Cahill still has plenty to offer to a side like Southampton. While he may not be the most gifted of footballers on the ball, he is still a very good defender.
The ex-Bolton man is great at making blocks, wins his headers, positions himself well and has the sort of experience that can go a long way for a team who have been battling relegation.
If Southampton want a quick fix and someone who can help them move up the table next season, then Cahill could be a decent signing.
TT Grade: C+
Since joining Southampton from Borussia Monchengladbach last summer, Vestergaard has certainly had his ups and downs.
But under Hasenhuttl, the 26-year-old has shown a lot of promise, particularly when playing in a back three.
At around 6’5”, Vestergaard is an absolute monster in the air, rarely losing out in his aerial duels.
On the ground, however, his lack of pace is a worry and can cause problems. With Hasenhuttl encouraging his side to engage high, the lines need to be further forward, which can leave Vestergaard exposed if Southampton’s opponent can bypass their press.
Simply put, he does not have the necessary speed to recover and is not someone you want running back towards goal. Still, Vestergaard might just be Southampton’s best central defender right now and has been one of their better signings in recent transfer windows.
TT Grade: B-
At 33 and after a season where he has not played any football, Cahill would find it hard to displace Vestergaard. Presently, the former Gladbach man is clearly the better defender.
But in games where Southampton are going to be battling and really up against it, like in their 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this campaign, the duo could form a really effective defensive partnership.
Playing in a very low block away from St. Mary’s, Cahill and Vestergaard have the perfect characteristics for it and would not have their lack of pace exposed. It is a partnership you could easily see frustrating the opposition.
And in general, Cahill, who has played some of his best football in a back three, looks like he could be a solid squad option at a bare minimum.
Southampton fans, could you see Cahill lining up with Vestergaard? Join the discussion by commenting below.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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