Why Southampton must make a move for Jonathan Bamba in January
Signed by Lille earlier this summer on a free transfer from Saint-Etienne, Jonathan Bamba has quickly established himself as a star at his new club. The 22-year-old has played 17 league games for Lille this season, scoring seven goals and supplying an assist.
The French winger of Ivorian descent has become one of the most sought-after young players in Europe. Keeping in mind the form Jonathan Bamba has shown since joining Lille in the summer, Southampton must plot an audacious swoop for him in January.
Southampton are currently in the relegation zone after a series of unimpressive results. The dismal run of form saw the Saints sack manager Mark Hughes and replace him with Ralph Hasenhuttl. Hasenhuttl’s managerial career at Southampton didn’t start the way he would have expected as his team were beaten 1-0 by Cardiff City last weekend.
Truth be told, there were very few positives to take for Hasenhuttl from the 1-0 defeat at Cardiff. Southampton dominated possession against Cardiff but failed to create chances in the final third, amassing just a single shot on target. That would have concerned Hasenhuttl, who is renowned for his progressive and dynamic style of football.
The Saints have been very blunt in the attack this season despite the team having the likes of Nathan Redmond, Manolo Gabbiadini, Charlie Austin, Danny Ings and Mohamed Elyounoussi.
Elyounoussi arrived at the St. Mary’s from FC Basel in the summer amidst a lot of fanfare but apart from showing glimpses of his talent, he has been a major flop.
So there is a need for a player who can bring the cutting edge to Southampton’s play in the final third. An explosive, pacy and direct winger is the need of the hour for the Saints, a player who can combine well with the likes of Danny Ings, Nathan Redmond and Stuart Armstrong.
Lille’s Jonathan Bamba fits the bill perfectly at Southampton. He has been in exceptional form in front of the goal for Lille this season, netting seven goals already. The 22-year-old is blessed with sheer pace, dribbling skills, agility, close control and also loves to take on the defenders. Therefore, the Frenchman has the ability to add that impetus and energy to Southampton’s otherwise toothless attack.
Indeed, Bamba can easily be accommodated into Hasenhuttl’s fast-paced gameplay in the final third, where his pace and directness will add more thrust to the Southampton attack. The 22-year-old’s tally of seven goals and an assist, all coming from the left wing this season, indicates his top productivity in the final third.
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Southampton need to pull a rabbit out of the hat to avoid relegation this season and signing Bamba in January would definitely be a step in the right direction.