Southampton Opinion: Should the Saints sign Peru Nolaskoain?
Southampton’s issues have come to a halt at the moment, with former RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl injecting hope into their side. A surprising 2-1 win over Tottenham at the weekend saw the club push out of the relegation zone but only for now.
The Saints do have a two-point lead over 18th place Cardiff City, but things could get worse.
Their defence has looked brittle since they lost Virgil Van Dijk, their midfield looks devoid of creation and their front-line cannot seem to score goals to save their lives. While form may have picked up over the last few weeks, that isn’t a barometer of a permanent or rather full season.
If there is one thing that anyone can be sure of, things will get worse for Southampton and if they survive the season, it’s something they should take care of. Reinforcements will play a big part in the summer window.
That being said, one player who the Saints should have on top of their shortlist should be La Liga starlet Peru Nolaskoain. The 20-year-old has been in incredible form for Athletic Bilbao’s reserve sides, making his first-team debut this season.
He was included in last season’s Europa League squad, but never got the chance to leap into the first-team. That has changed this season, thanks to his tenacity and rise in performance levels with the reserve side.
This includes a La Liga debut against CD Leganes, where Nolaskoain also netted his first goal and a Copa Del Rey debut a few months later. The 20-year-old centre-back has shown just how good he is and just how far he can go.
A ball-playing centre-back, Nolaskoain has all the attributes needed to become successful and he’s very versatile. The Spaniard’s preferred position is as a centre-back but he’s been used as a central midfielder and as an attacking midfielder for the youth teams.
Not only has the youngster played well but he’s flourished, moving the ball very effectively.
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Hence, that makes him perfect for Ralph Hasenhuttl because that’s what the 51-year-old looks for in his centre-backs, someone who is confident on the ball and can move it around, all the while keeping his calm under pressure.
Peru Nolaskoain ticks all the boxes and while he is far from the finished product, it makes the move that much better, given Southampton’s history with young players.