Southampton opinion: The Saints should go for Omar Elabdellaoui
Back in January, the Sun claimed Southampton were in talks with Olympiacos for the transfer Omar Elabdellaoui. However, a move didn’t materialise and the right-back stayed at Olympiacos.
The Norway international, 27, enjoyed a solid season with Olympiacos, bagging five goals and six assists in 23 Super League games. He has performed consistently for the Greek giants since leaving German club Eintracht Braunschweig back in 2014.
Considering Omar Elabdellaoui enjoyed another good season in Greece, Southampton must rekindle their interest in the right-back.
Ralph Hasenhuttl will be eager to challenge for at least a top-10 spot next season after helping the Saints avoid relegation from the Premier League. He has radically changed this team since arriving in December 2018, making the sea coast side play an attractive, expansive brand of football.
What has been so pleasing to watch for the Southampton faithful is that the Austrian manager has shown tremendous faith in the youngsters, thus sticking with the club’s ethos and traditions.
Yan Valery was one of the young stars who broke out under Hasenhuttl in the second half of last season. The 19-year-old made his senior debut in the 2018/19 season and made the right-back position his own following the departure of Cedric Soares on loan to Inter Milan during the January transfer window.
Valery already looks very comfortable at Premier League level, but Hasenhuttl must bring in an experienced right-back.
Omar Elabdellaoui would be a strong option for Southampton. He has already had two spells in England, with Manchester City and Hull City, but he really made a name for himself in Greece with Olympiacos.
The Norway international of Moroccan descent can play as a right-back, as a right wing-back and right-sided winger. His versatility will be a major plus for Hasenhuttl and the Saints.
Elabdellaoui is an all-action right-back, renowned for his pace, energy and ability on the ball. He backs his ability to beat his marker and deliver delicious crosses into the box for his teammates to feast upon.
He does not shy away from taking a pop at goal and his attacking style of play will make him an excellent fit under Hasenhuttl at Southampton.
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One would think the potential acquisition of the 27-year-old would hinder the development of Yan Valery. However, that won’t be the case as Elabdellaoui would come in as a replacement for Cedric.
There will likely be healthy competition between Valery and Elabdellaoui, and that could see both give their very best to cement a place at right-back in Hasenhuttl’s starting XI.
Thus, it’s a no-brainer for the Saints to try and add a proven right-back like Elabdellaoui, who would also be a great mentor for the young and talented Valery.