Southampton Transfer News: Jovane Cabral targeted - The Verdict

Jovane Cabral 2

According to reports from A Bola via Sport Witness, Southampton are interested in signing Sporting Lisbon attacker Jovane Cabral.

The 22-year-old has enjoyed a potent start to life at first-team level; since making his debut in 2017, the youngster has notched up 12 goals and 12 assists in 59 appearances for the Portuguese side. 

It’s claimed Sporting are holding negotiations over Cabral’s contract, but within that the report highlights the fact he’s admired by various Premier League clubs, including two from the Premier League.

While West Ham allegedly made an ill-fated bid for Cabral last summer, Southampton are also mentioned as admirers - as well as unnamed French and German clubs.

With a release clause of €40m (£35.8m), the potential is there for Saints to snap him up. But would that be a wise move from Ralph Hasenhuttl?

GIVEMESPORT writers Jack Saville, Jonnie Gorrie and Christy Malyan answer a simple question: should Southampton swoop for Cabral?

Jovane Cabral

Jack Saville

“A move for Cabral would be a needless gamble from Hasenuttl.

"The fact the now 22-year-old was monitored by Barcelona in 2018 attests to his enticing level of raw talent, but in Liga Nos it's hard to gage just how good he truly is even if he has impressed since graduating into Sporting's senior fold, scoring 10 goals in 20 league starts.

“Capable of playing out wide or at centre-forward, Cabral would offer Hasenhuttl versatility in attacking positions, but the Austrian is already blessed with a variety of options there and has a promising talent of his own in Nathan Tella to integrate into the side.

"With Southampton in the ascendancy and looking to unsettle the established Premier League elite, the club should be targeting more accomplished players with exposure in one of Europe's top five leagues.”

Jonathan Gorrie

“Saints' famous little black box of scouting does look to be back up and running again after the nightmare signings of Wesley Hoedt and Guido Carrillo, so you'd imagine they've got a certain type of strategy in mind should their reported interest go any further.

“Theo Walcott's wages at Everton are reported to be around £100k-per-week and although he is out of contract in the summer, it's hard to see Saints paying that for a winger who'll be 32 going into next season. Perhaps some longer-term thinking is in order, and Cabral represents a younger alternative.”

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Christy Malyan

“Cabral looks a decent prospect but the Portuguese press are the international masters of hyping up any promising youngster to emerge from their top flight by mentioning a string of Premier League admirers, so the initial report should be taken with a pinch of salt.

“In terms of a Southampton move, I’d prefer to see Hasenhuttl prioritise Moussa Djenepo's development. The 22-year-old clearly has something in his locker with a high return for dribbles but injuries have stopped him from showing it consistently.

“Bringing in another forward of similar age will only further infringe upon his game-time, and with Nathan Redmond, Stuart Armstrong and Theo Walcott already at the club, Saints aren’t exactly crying out for another body to be thrown into the mix.

"The same can be said in Cabral's other position of centre-forward. After Danny Ings and Che Adams, there's Michael Obafemi and Shane Long. Overall, I don't see how a youngster with no Premier League experience really improves that ensemble." 

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