A worrying Southampton transfer update has emerged, with journalist Alex Crook saying an “integral” player could leave the club this month.
Southampton transfer news
Saints continue to look like one of the leading sides to earn promotion from the Championship to the Premier League this season, and new signings in the January transfer window could make them an even more fearsome proposition.
One individual who Southampton are reportedly in the mix to sign is West Ham defender Ben Johnson, who isn’t deemed an important player for the Hammers and could leave this month.
Midfielder Ussumane Djalo is another player who has been linked with a move to St Mary’s in recent days, with the teenager a promising star at Portuguese giants Porto, and Hearts striker Lawrence Shankland has also emerged as an option for Russell Martin.
Kyle Walker-Peters could leave Southampton
There could also be outgoings, however, and speaking to Give Me Sport, Crook admitted that Southampton hero Walker-Peters is an expected target for Chelsea, with a January exit not ruled out.
“I don’t think there is a recall clause in Mason Holgate’s loan, so Everton can’t recall him even though he is not playing much. But I guess Southampton could terminate it, and that is a possibility if they could find someone else in that position. When it comes to Walker-Peters, there is no sign of him signing a new contract. I think they thought there would be more Premier League interest than there was in the summer. They didn’t get a single bid.
“I mentioned West Ham being interested a few weeks ago because they are definitely looking for right-back cover. Even Chelsea could come into it, with Reece James’ injury problems. He can play at right and left-back, which would be ideal with Ben Chilwell spending time on the sidelines. It wouldn’t surprise me if somebody tries to get Walker-Peters before the end of the window.”
Losing Walker-Peters in January would be a massive blow to Southampton’s promotion push, considering what an influential player he has become down the years.
This season, the 26-year-old has started all 27 league games, scoring and assisting twice apiece in that time, and his combination of defensive solidity and attacking quality makes him one of the best players Martin has to call upon. Journalist Adam Blackmore seems well aware of that, too, saying of the right-back:
“I wonder how important he’s become. You look at what happened in the summer [rumoured transfer interest] and you just wonder by the end of the season how important keeping him will have been. He’s such an integral part of what they’re doing. It’s almost like the team is built around him to get the most out of him.”
The lure of joining a big club such as Chelsea could be too great for Walker-Peters to turn down, and Todd Boehly’s billions could make standing firm difficult on Saints’ part, but Martin will be desperate to keep his star man at least for the next six months.