Why Southampton must plot a January swoop for Ben Gibson
Back in June 2018, Daily Mail had claimed that Southampton were one of the Premier League clubs interested in signing Ben Gibson, who was then playing for Championship outfit Middlesbrough. However, a deal didn’t go through and he ended up joining Burnley instead last year.
Ben Gibson, 26, has struggled to break into Sean Dyche’s starting XI since arriving from Middlesbrough.
The 26-year-old has made just one Premier League start, scoring in that 5-1 away defeat to Everton last year and has featured six times in total for the Clarets. His only appearance this season has come in the Carabao Cup defeat to Sunderland in August.
With the Englishman finding it difficult to get any playing time at Burnley, Southampton would be wise to rekindle their interest and try signing the defender in January.
Two weeks after the chastening 9-0 home defeat to Leicester City, Southampton were beaten again on home soil by fellow strugglers Everton. The Saints find themselves 19th in the table and primed to face the drop this season.
Sacking Hasenhuttl won’t be the solution to Southampton’s problems; instead, the board should persist with the manager and back him with necessary funds in January.
A new defender surely has to be top of Hasenhuttl’s transfer wishlist in January. No team in the Premier League has conceded more than Southampton’s 29 goals so far this season, with Maya Yoshida, Jan Bednarek and Jannik Vestergaard proving very inconsistent at the back. That’s when signing Ben Gibson would make sense for the Saints.
Before joining Burnley, Gibson had enjoyed two excellent seasons with Middlesbrough. In fact, one of the seasons was in the Premier League under the management of Aitor Karanka but he couldn’t help the Teessiders retain their top-flight status.
Nevertheless, Gibson could make an instant impact at Southampton by solving their defensive problems to some extent. The Nunthorpe-born star is a competent defender, who can play at left-back as well when required.
Taking into consideration their current situation at the back, Southampton must go all out to sign Gibson in January. If Burnley are reluctant to sell the 26-year-old, a short-term loan could work wonders for the relegation-threatened Saints.