Why Southampton should plot a January swoop for Cristian Tello
Back in 2016, a report from Sun had claimed that Southampton wanted to sign Cristian Tello, who was then playing for Barcelona.
A product of the Barcelona academy, Cristian Tello, 28, managed just 59 appearances for the Catalan club in six years, spending the majority of his time on loan at FC Porto and Fiorentina respectively. He left Barcelona permanently for Real Betis in the summer of 2017.
The one-cap Spain international has been a regular at Betis and has managed 11 goals across two seasons. Considering the consistency he has shown over the last two seasons, Southampton should reignite their interest in Tello during the January transfer window.
Southampton have struggled in the new Premier League season and currently lie 14th in the table. Neither have they looked defensively solid nor have they shown attacking verve. The Saints were expected to recruit heavily after narrowly avoiding relegation last season but they managed to sign only a few players during the summer transfer window.
If Ralph Hasenhuttl wants to achieve a top-10 finish, Southampton must add more quality to both the attack and the defence in January. And a player like Cristian Tello could certainly help add some quality in the final third of the pitch.
Essentially a right-footed inverted winger down the left, Tello boasts of lightning pace and quick feet, which allows him to rip the opposition apart and cut inside from the flanks to create chances.
Blessed with plenty of flair and quality on the ball, the Spaniard excels with his ability to change directions quickly and dribble at pace, while also possessing the shooting ability to test the goalkeeper from range.
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He can make some dangerous runs from the wide areas, which makes him such a potent threat in the opposition half. A good passer of the ball, the ex-Barcelona man is a pretty handy wide-man, who is fantastic on the ball and never shies away from taking on his man and beating him with his burst of pace.
Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond have impressed this season and Tello would complement them perfectly.
An intelligent and speedy player, Tello would add that cutting-edge to Southampton’s attack, whilst also bringing competition to Hasenhuttl’s squad.
He will undoubtedly bring a lot of goals and assists to the St. Mary’s. That’s what the Saints need more than anything at the moment, and it’s an ability that they’ve certainly missed.