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This Russian wing-back has the right attributes to be a direct replacement for Cedric Soares at Southampton – Agreed?

Southampton Opinions: Vyacheslav Karavaev can replace Cedric Soares

Southampton’s league position took a bad hit during the first part of this Premier League season under the haphazard guidance of former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes. They are still struggling to recover from the gaping holes he left in the squad.

Since Ralph Hasenhuttl’s takeover, the spirits of the team has been lifted but their position on the league table is a concern as relegation is something they wouldn’t have even considered at the start of the season.

Having finished last season in 17th place, the fans would’ve been expecting a season filled with massive character as a reaction to their marginal escape from relegation. They have, instead, looked worse than they did last year.

While there are various issues to be addressed at Southampton, including their apparent lack of in-form wingers other than the consistent Nathan Redmond, the most pressing cause for concern has come in the form of an unexpected departure.

With Southampton fighting to stay out of the relegation places, Portuguese defender Cedric Soares couldn’t resist the urge to leave the St.Mary’s in search of a higher level of football.

This transfer has left a gaping hole in the Saints’ backline as they were unable to find a suitable replacement for the wing-back in January. Instead, they’ve had to manage with 20-year-old Yan Valery, who, despite his age, has stepped up to the plate.

But going into an English league season with only one option for any position could be suicide and to avoid that, Hasenhuttl must look to bring in a right-back who can slot back into Cedric’s role.

The ideal man for this position given their current predicament is Vitesse Arnhem right-back Vyacheslav Karavaev. At just 23, he has heavily impressed his club and also made 20 appearances for the Russia U21 side. 

Having joined Vitesse in January 2018, the wing-back has played 23 times for the Dutch club in the Eredivisie and has even notched up an impressive 3 assists. His pace down the flanks have been utilised extensively by the club. 

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A strong defender, his smart positioning on the pitch allows him to make key tackles and interceptions. Given his agility, he will suit Hasenhuttl’s style of play as well. His signature can be quite valuable in the coming season and the Saints must go out of their way to make sure they get him.