Southampton Opinion: Why the Saints should go for Connor Roberts?
According to a report from the Sun, Southampton are monitoring Swansea City defender Connor Roberts.
The Wales international, 23, was one of the standout performers in a difficult season for Swansea City, scoring five goals in 43 Championship games. He signed a new contract until 2022 in November but, with the Swans short of funds, a departure from the Liberty Stadium cannot be ruled out this summer.
Connor Roberts certainly fits the profile of players that the Saints have signed in the ongoing summer transfer window and it won’t be a big surprise to see the 23-year-old arriving on the south coast ahead of the upcoming season.
Southampton have signed three players so far in the transfer window, as manager Ralph Hasenhuttl looks to make his mark on the squad. Traditionally, the Saints have a good record of nurturing young talents and transforming them into top-quality players.
Hasenhuttl has also shown an inclination towards promoting young guns since his arrival at St. Mary’s, with Yan Valery enjoying a more significant role in the first-team in the second half of last season.
Valery enjoyed his breakthrough campaign in 2018/19, nailing down his place at right-back under Hasenhuttl following Cedric Soares’ departure on loan to Inter Milan during the January transfer window.
With Cedric Soares’ uncertain future a disappointing loan spell at Inter Milan, Hasenhuttl would require extra depth at right-back.
Regardless of Valery showing a lot of promise with his fearless displays, the Frenchman is only 20 and cannot be relied upon for an entire season. With that in mind, Southampton must not think twice to splash the cash to sign Roberts from Swansea.
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 or on the right flank. The Welshman is a pacey, agile and hardworking player, blessed with high levels of stamina and energy.
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The Wales international is not only adept at breaking up the play but he is also capable of carrying the ball forward with his youthful burst of energy.
To add to that, he has the intelligence and the attacking instincts to help his team in the final third of the pitch. Defensively solid as well, Roberts would be the ideal player to replace Cedric at Southampton and provide competition for Valery.
To sum it up, Roberts would be a tailor-made addition to what Hasenhuttl is trying to build at the St. Mary’s.
The Saints have tasted rich success while promoting homegrown British talents and it is not difficult to see that Roberts could be another top addition to their ranks this summer.