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Southampton should leave no stone unturned in beating Fulham to sign this pacy French U19 star in the summer – Here is why

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Southampton Opinion: Why Southampton should beat Fulham to Jordan Halaimia

Calciomercato has reported that Southampton and Fulham have joined the race for Saint-Etienne youth star Jordan Halaimia. The 18-year-old defender has been among the standout stars this season for the French side’s U19 team and this has seen his stock in the footballing world shoot up.

Halaimia’s blend of pace and power has further added to the young defender’s value. More so, his improvement both tactically and mentally this season has seen the 18-year-old transform into one of the Ligue 1’s best defensive prospects.

But that rise has also seen him be scouted by more than a few sides from all over the world, as clubs are looking to pounce on the French footballer’s contract issues.

At the moment, the young defender is yet to sign a professional deal (h/t Calicomercato) with Saint-Etienne and is currently still on a youth contract with the club.

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This does allow any suitors to offer him the chance to sign a deal with them, which is why Southampton should win the race. The Saints have a brilliant chance of landing the youngster, thanks to their youth academy but they can also offer him Premier League football.

Southampton usually hand youth players their first-team debuts at a young age and that should attract Halaimia. Also their sensational youth academy will be a positive point. More so, Yan Valery’s recent success with the first team should help convince the 18 year old Saint-Etienne star that his future does lie at St Mary’s.

The right-back arrived from Rennes a few years ago and slowly made his way up into the first team, making his debut this season. Furthermore, Maya Yoshida is on the wrong side of 30, meaning that the club need to start looking for young defenders to replace him.

While Jan Bednarek has done a relatively decent job for the club, the Polish star has struggled to find consistency over the last few months.

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Ralph Hasenhuttl’s arrival has helped Bednarek improve but the 22 year old has yet to make a lasting impact. Any deal, however, will have to happen fast with Calciomercato further revealing that Fulham, Portuguese side FC Braga and Sampdoria are all after Jordan Halaimia as well.

All three sides are on the lookout for young talent on the cheap, and the 18-year-old Halaimia fits that description perfectly. This could complicate any move that Southampton will make, but if the Saints make the first move, then, few players would reject a move to their youth academy.