Why signing Connor Roberts could be the answer to Southampton’s woes
In an interview with The Telegraph last month, Southampton right-back Cedric Soares revealed his intention to leave the club at the end of the season.
The Portuguese, 28, was out injured with a calf problem and was therefore not involved in Southampton’s embarrassing 9-0 defeat at home to Leicester City in October. He has had a start-stop 2019/20 campaign so far, managing just six Premier League appearances.
Cedric Soares has been an important player for the Saints ever since arriving from Sporting Lisbon in 2015. A Euro 2016 winner with Portugal, who also impressed at the 2018 World Cup and in the Confederations Cup, the 28-year-old also had a successful loan spell at Inter Milan last season and helped them into the Champions League.
But with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Southampton must cash in on Cedric during the winter transfer window and replace him with a new right-back.
Back in June, The Sun had claimed Southampton were interested in signing Swansea City defender Connor Roberts, but a move didn’t go through in the summer.
Connor Roberts, 24, was one of the standout performers in a difficult last season for Swansea City, scoring 5 goals in 43 Championship games. The Wales international has started the new campaign well with two assists in 16 league appearances so far.
A promising talent, Roberts fits the profile of players that the Saints signed during the summer window. Thus, the South coast side must not hesitate to rekindle their interest in the Welshman when the transfer market reopens.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton find themselves at 17th place after 15 games. The Saints have leaked goals at an alarming rate and that should concern Hasenhuttl.
They have the worst defensive record in the division, with Hasenhuttl’s side conceding 33 goals so far. Thus, it’s a no-brainer to reinforce the defence in January and Connor Roberts would be a useful addition.
Roberts is noted for his versatility to play on either side of the backline. While he is predominantly a right-back, he is also adept at playing as a left-back and further up the pitch as a right-sided midfielder.
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He is a highly energetic player, averaging 0.6 key passes, 0.8 shots per game and 0.3 dribbles this season. As far as his defensive contributions are concerned, the Welshman has managed 1.6 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 2.3 clearances and 0.3 blocks per game, whilst having achieved a respectable 83.4 % pass success rate. [Courtesy: WhoScored.com]
At the age of 24, Roberts looks ready to make the step up to the Premier League. He would be a smart addition to Southampton’s defence that has always looked vulnerable this season.