Why missing out on this prodigious Danish star could come back to haunt Southampton

Why signing Joakim Mæhle could’ve turned Southampton’s season around

According to reports from the Daily Echo, KRC Genk right-back Joakim Maehle was attracting a lot of interest from Southampton, who were very eager to bring the Dane to the St.Mary’s in January.

Unfortunately for them, Genk have a strict transfer policy which states that none of the first-team regulars can leave the club during the winter window and the defender has come out and said that he must respect the club’s values, as suggested by the report.

The report also claims that Southampton were seriously considering the Dane as competition for Yan Valery, who is only 19-years-old. Currently 21, Mæhle has developed over the last few years into a really top player who certainly has the quality and the composure to become a massive hit in England.

While he is an excellent runner with good vision and passing abilities, his crosses into the box and overlapping runs can usually cause havoc in the final third. He reads the play extremely well and is a winger’s dream to have because his movement creates spaces on the pitch.

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While he is adept and going forward, which is a necessity in the English game, it’s his defensive attributes that should have attracted Hasenhuttl. He has the pace and the strength to deal with the strong runners in the Premier League.

His ability to tuck in narrow or go out and block crosses will be useful. His link-up play with the winger can also develop as this has been one of the features of the Saints’ play after Hasenhuttl took over at the helm.

Southampton’s current squad only features one out-and-out right-back and that’s the youngster Valery who is only 19. Cedric recently departed the club to move to the Serie A, which opened up a vacancy for the Dane, but the deal didn’t go through.

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While that is the case, Hasenhuttl will definitely return for his man in the summer as he sees the youngster as a prospective long-term player. He has had an excellent season, playing 24 times and scoring once for the Belgian side. He also played all six of Genk’s Europa League games.

Read More: 16 goals, 3 assists – This in-form Championship star would have helped Southampton in their relegation fight for sure

Still only 21, he has the potential to be a superstar in the Premier League and what better place to make a name for yourself than a club with only a 19-year-old as an option in the same position.

Written by Nikhil Vinod

As Le Professeur famously said, If you do not believe you can do it, then you have no chance at all.
Diving and play-acting is a crime and is destroying the beautiful game.
Massive sports enthusiast with a special affection for football.
Sports Management graduate from Coventry University, UK.

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