Southampton are reportedly interested in Japan striker Daizen Maeda, according to Sky Sports News.
The Lowdown: Looking to back Jones
Something else that won’t be shocking is that all of those targets are attackers, as the Saints are rather toothless in the final third with just 15 league goals to their name this campaign, so Jones clearly needs more firepower.
The Latest: Maeda is a target
Sky Sports presenter Julian Warren was providing a transfer update while speaking on Sky Sports News in which he mentioned Southampton’s interest in Maeda, who has six goals this season.
He said: “Southampton are looking to bolster their attacking options this month as they look to avoid relegation. Nathan Jones said yesterday he’s looking to bring three or four new players in before the window closes.
“One of those could be the Celtic forward, Daizen Maeda. We understand the Saints are interested in him. The 25-year-old Japan international scored against Croatia in the last 16 of the World Cup and has returned to Celtic in fine form as well; he scored the opener in the 2-2 Old Firm draw at Ibrox last week.”
The Verdict: A risky move from Southampton
While Maeda has been in good form since he joined Celtic back in January 2022, the fact he’s only ever played in the Japanese league and Portuguese top flight as well as the SPFL would suggest he’s still rather untested at the top level.
Southampton can’t afford to take too many more risks this season as they are in a precarious position lying three points from safety, so any striker coming in will have to arrive and hit the ground running.
Would Maeda improve Southampton?
Celtic paid less than £2m for Maeda when he joined, and with a contract until 2026, it seems as though Southampton would have to pay a premium fee to get him – and even then, the Bhoys may be reluctant to lose the striker given Ange Postecoglou has labelled him ‘immense‘ over the last few months.