Southampton defender Jan Bednarek has been an ‘excellent servant’ to Saints and it would be harsh for boss Ralph Hasenhuttl to look to replace the Poland international in the summer, according to The Sun journalist Tom Barclay.
Bednarek became the first signing of former boss Mauricio Pellegrino’s reign in the summer of 2017, when he completed a £5million switch from Lech Poznan.
What’s the latest news involving Bednarek?
Bednarek has been a regular starter since heading to Southampton, chalking up 143 appearances on the south coast.
The 25-year-old has also nailed down a spot in the heart of Saints’ back four this season, being included from the off in each of the last 12 Premier League fixtures.
According to Italian media outlet Corriere dello Sport, Bednarek’s performances have resulted in him being added to Napoli’s list of targets.
The report suggests the 37-cap Poland international and his central defensive partner Mohammed Salisu are coveted by the Serie A giants due to still being in the early stages of their respective careers.
Bednarek’s Southampton contract – which is worth £60,000-per-week – does not expire until the summer of 2025, so Saints are in a strong negotiating position if Napoli or any other suitors look to prise him away from St Mary’s.
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What has Tom Barclay said about Bednarek?
Barclay feels Hasenhuttl would be treating Bednarek harshly if he opts to sign a new central defender and the Pole remains at St Mary’s.
The journalist understands the 6 ft 2 ace is liable to an underwhelming performance but still reckons he should remain in the forefront of the Austrian’s thinking.
When asked whether the south coast club should look to upgrade on Bednarek, Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: “It seems brutal to put it that way. I think Bednarek has been a really excellent servant for Southampton and he won Ralph over quite early on.
“He’s a real deep thinker of the game and I remember doing an interview with him a few years ago where he talked about having a psychologist. I know a lot of players do, but he seemed to be really, really big on it to try and prepare his mind right.
“But he does have the occasional bad performance, like we saw during that horrific run last season.”
Have Southampton been linked with any central defenders?
West Bromwich Albion teenager Kevin Joshua has reportedly been on Southampton’s radar in recent months, although he has also been tracked by the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham and Aston Villa.
Saints were also linked with Fulham ace Tosin Adarabioyo last summer, so Hasenhuttl has clearly been on the lookout for defensive reinforcements.
However, that came before Lyanco joined in the final days of last summer’s transfer window from Torino.