- Premier League
- EFL Championship
- Other Top Clubs
- Scout Reports
Southampton continue to be linked with Tottenham Hotspur defender Kevin Wimmer, who is considered as a probable replacement for Virgil van Dijk if the Dutchman leaves the club in the summer. The Saints stay firm on their stance that Van Dijk will not be sold, but with the player trying to force through an exit, the Sun reports that they have nailed down Wimmer as the contingency plan.
Wimmer joined Tottenham two years back from German outfit FC Koln, but has failed to establish himself in starting XI with the North Londoners, largely due to the brilliance of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen at the heart of the defence.
Wimmer made 21 appearances in his first season at the White Hart Lane, most of which came when Vertonghen was out for a period of time due to injury. In his handful of appearances, the 24-year old impressed so heavily that the club rewarded him with a new and improved contract at the end of the season, with manager Mauricio Pochettino regarding him as a key member of the team.
However, things did not pan out as per plans for the Austrian in his second season at the Lane, as he made just 10 appearances in all competitions, despite Pochettino playing with a three-man defence for most part# of the season. Most of his displays were error-strewn and lacking confidence, which meant he fell very much out of favour at the club. And his display against AS Roma in the pre-season contest was again poor, pretty much sealing his fate.
Southampton need a defender going into the new season; without a question. Having sold Jose Fonte in the winter window to West Ham United, they are left with Van Dijk, Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens as the only first-choice options in the squad. And despite all their rejection of speculations, it seems inevitable that Van Dijk will leave the club this summer, making a new centre-back a bigger priority.
While Wimmer may have endured a difficult year last time around, he has shown enough potential in his handful of appearances from his first season that he can definitely make the grade in the Premier League. At 6ft 2in, he is physically a daunting presence and has a decent turn of pace for a defender. He also possesses good technical qualities as well. There are a few flaws in his game, yes, but he is 24 and has time to improve on those, and is likely to get better from hereon.
At the moment, it is his confidence that has taken a beating and if Mauricio Pellegrino manages to reinvigorate that, Southampton will have gotten a young defender with a lot of promise and with his best years ahead of him.