Southampton transfers: Saints want experienced Bundesliga star - The Verdict

Borussia Dortmund midfielder and Southampton target Thomas Delaney in action

Southampton are interested in signing Borussia Dortmund midfielder Thomas Delaney in the next transfer window, according to ESPN’s transfer blog (Tuesday, 09:27am), as also covered by Caught Offside.

Delaney has spent the last three years at Dortmund, making 85 appearances for the club across all competitions.

However, he has found game time hard to come by at times this season, starting just 13 games in Germany’s top-flight. He only has one year left on his contract, meaning that, as things stand, he would be a free agent in 2022.

With this in mind, Dortmund may be open to selling him this summer to ensure that they receive a transfer fee for the 29-year-old. It is understood that they would want in the region of €10m (£8.6m) in order to let Delaney leave.

Southampton are reportedly ready to make their move as they look to bolster their midfield after a disappointing 2021 which has seen them fall to 14th place in the table.

Would Delaney be a good signing for Southampton this summer?

GIVEMESPORT’s Sam Brookes, Jonathan Gorrie, Joshua Cole and Christy Malyan give their thoughts below…

Sam Brookes

“Delaney would be an outstanding acquisition for Southampton.

“At times during the campaign, it has seemed as though James Ward-Prowse has been dragging the side through some very difficult moments. His quality on the ball, particularly from set-pieces, has ensured that the team were never in serious danger of falling into a relegation scrap.

“However, he cannot do everything on his own. He needs some help, and that is where Delaney comes into play. With 52 international caps and 30 Champions League appearances behind him, Delaney would bring a wealth of experience to the South Coast, and he is accustomed to playing alongside some of the finest players in Europe.

“As per WhoScored, he averages 1.9 completed tackles and 1.6 aerial duels won per game, demonstrating that he is happy to put the hard graft in to break up opposition attacks. This would suit Ward-Prowse perfectly, as it would allow him to focus on getting on the ball more and influencing games higher up the pitch. 

“Having conceded 65 goals this season – only West Brom have shipped more – Southampton need someone to come in and protect the back four more effectively next year. Delaney is exactly the player they are looking for to carry out this job.”

Jonathan Gorrie

“Why, oh why, would Thomas Delaney want to go to Southampton?

“Supporters clearly won’t appreciate that and it is not meant to be disrespectful to the club, more a reflection on the current ownership.

“Given the lack of investment, Southampton can only go so far. Clearly, there’s a strong team there, though manager Ralph Hasenhuttl just hasn’t been backed and key players such as Ryan Bertrand are leaving.

“Star man Danny Ings, meanwhile, looks set for a summer departure too.

“Frankly, none of that looks conducive to a happy camp at the moment or is a sign Saints are prepared to push up the league on a consistent basis.

“Don’t bother, Thomas.”

Joshua Cole

“Whilst James Ward-Prowse has performed admirably for the Saints, it could be argued that the club may be able to reach new heights with Delaney in their side.

“A versatile player, the Denmark international is capable of playing in the heart of midfield as well as in the centre of defence and thus would give Hasenhuttl more options in these positions.

“Considering that he is not guaranteed regular first-team football at Dortmund, a move to Southampton could be exactly what Delaney needs at this stage of his career.”

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Christy Malyan

“Thomas Delaney’s a handy player. He’s experienced at Champions League and international level, he’s industrious yet tidy enough on the ball, and he’s played in a variety of positions throughout his career. What’s more, Southampton could really do with some more bodies in midfield.

“The only thing I don’t like about this potential transfer is Delaney’s age. He’s due to turn 30 at the start of next season. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s past his best – I just struggle to see how that fits into Southampton’s business model.

“Saints have a strong reputation in the transfer market for picking up emerging talents, developing them quickly and then selling at a profit. From Adam Lallana to Sadio Mane, their hit-rate in that respect is impressive.

“But Delaney just doesn’t offer the same re-sale value and while not every Southampton signing needs to be in that mould, I struggle to see what Saints will really get out of signing the Dane apart from a couple of seasons of relative sturdiness.

“I’m sure there are options out there who offer similar quality but provide far greater economic sense.”

* All stats correct prior to this weekend’s action

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