1.9 tackles, 1.3 interceptions – Southampton should simply go all out for this experienced Spaniard in the summer

Southampton opinion: Should the Saints sign Mario Gaspar?

Southampton are short in the right-back department since the departure of their first-choice man Cedric to Inter Milan in January. The Saints are left with 20-year-old Yan Valery and although the youngster has been doing well, Southampton need to bring in a more experienced defender into the squad, and Mario Gaspar would be a tremendous addition.

Gaspar currently plays for La Liga side Villarreal, who have been struggling this season. The El Submarino Amarillo are stuck at 18th place and are fighting for survival in the Spanish top-flight.

The 28-year-old has played 20 times in the La Liga so far in this horrid season. Gaspar came through the ranks at Villarreal and has been a one club man so far. The Spaniard has played over 300 games for club and country and his experience would be priceless for the saints.

Gaspar, unlike Valery, is a solid defender and is one who isn’t afraid to get stuck in to win the ball back for his side. The 28-year-old is one of those players who would put their body on the line for the team and has done so on numerous occasions.

Gaspar has been unlucky to be a part of the same generation as Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Arbeloa and Cesar Azpilicueta because of whom he has failed to get as much recognition in the national team.

However, the Villarreal man has three caps for the Spanish national team and has surprisingly scored twice, including an outrageous overhead kick against England in a friendly in 2015.

Despite an embarrassing season for Villarreal so far, Mario Gaspar’s defensive numbers have been brilliant. The Spaniard averages 1.9 tackles per game, 1.3 interceptions per game and a solid 3 clearances per 90 minutes so far this season.

Gaspar averages 35.7 passes per game with a healthy passing accuracy for a full-back – 80%.

Gaspar’s top-flight experience is invaluable, with the Spaniard being around the seen since 2009. His defensive positioning and understanding of the game will be a massive asset to any team he ends up in.

Conclusion

Southampton’s horrid season so far is under improvement since the arrival of Ralph Hasenhuttl and the German’s management could help the Saints stay up at the end of this campaign.

But summer reinforcements are absolutely vital and Mario Gaspar will be an incredible addition to the Saints squad.

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Gaspar would bring his experience and leadership into the Saints defence and will act as an inspiration to the young Yan Valery, who will learn a lot from him. Southampton must make a move for the experienced campaigner in the summer and he would be an upgrade over Cedric.

Written by Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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