According to the Sunday Mirror (8/12/19; Page 67), Southampton are open to offers for defender Jannik Vestergaard during the January transfer window.
The Dane has fallen out of favour with manager Ralph Hassenhuttl in recent times and has not featured in a single game since losing 2-1 to Everton in November.
Vestergaard was a regular until last month but has lost his place in the side, with Hassenhuttl opting Englishman Jack Stephens and Polish international Jan Bednarek in the heart of the Saints defence.
The Saints have the worst defensive record in the league, having conceded 35 goals from 16 league games. No other side in the league has leaked as many goals, giving us a clear picture of the ongoing defensive woes at Southampton.
Since making his £18million move from Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer of 2018, the Saints defender has failed to make an impact at the St. Mary’s Stadium.
His poor displays this season have forced manager Hassenhuttl to look for better defensive options and the decision to receive bids for the 27-year-old Vestergaard does not come as a big surprise.
Having said that, let’s have a look at two Premier League sides who could secure a loan move for the centre-back.
After gaining promotion to the top-flight last season, Norwich seems to be heading back in the same direction, with the club lying in the relegation zone, just one spot adrift of bottom-placed Watford.
They have lost 11 of their 16 games so far and like Southampton, have one of the weakest defences in the league. The Canaries have the second-worst defence in the league, conceding 34 goals.
Boss Daniel Farke has mostly favoured Ben Godfrey-Christoph Zimmermann pairing at the heart of Norwich’s defence. Though Godfrey has been pretty consistent in his performances, Zimmermann has not been entirely satisfactory.
He has often lost his place to skipper Grant Hanley, who has also fallen down Farke’s pecking order. Meanwhile, veteran Timm Klose is out injured and won’t be back until next year.
With their troubles at the back clearly visible, Farke is in dire need of a defender who could stop the inflow of goals and save them from the impending doom.
Before his time in England, Vestergaard was a star in Germany with Monchengladbach. He was regular in his 2 seasons there and played over 80 matches and scored 7 goals in all competitions.
Given Norwich’s condition, a loan move for the experienced Vestergaard seems like a mutually beneficial deal. Moreover, it could well be a stop-gap solution to their ongoing defensive woes.
Steve Bruce’s Newcastle mostly play with 5 defenders, however, that has not stopped them from letting in goals this season. They have so far conceded 23.
With skipper Jamaal Lascelles out due to injury, Bruce has had to often shuffle his backline with veterans Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark often partnering Paul Dummet in a back-three.
However, Dummet is more of a left full-back and has been deployed in the heart of the defence by Bruce this season. The Magpies also have Fabian Schar in their ranks, but he has not been entirely impressive.
With inconsistencies and form acting as a major deterrent, Bruce has found it an uphill task to go with just one preferred combination at the back.
Bringing in the aerially strong, defensive-minded Vestergaard could be a value-added addition given Bruce’s existing centre-back dilemma. Moreover, his arrival would offer the Newcastle coach plenty of options to choose from.
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