Juan Agudelo backs New England Revolution teammate Lee Nguyen for Southampton move

St Marys Southampton

The US international has been linked with the Saints this season following an outstanding 2014 MLS campaign.

New England revolution playmaker Lee Nguyen would prove a great fit at Southampton, teammate Juan Agudelo has told Extra Time Radio.

Nguyen, 28, made the three-man shortlist for the 2014 MLS MVP award after helping the Revolution make the MLS Cup final, netting 18 goals in 28 regular-season appearances – including a league-leading nine game-winners.

While he would ultimately miss out on the accolade to LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane, as well as the championship, the free-scoring midfielder did earn a place on the league’s Best XI and a first US national team call-up since 2007.

The former PSV Eindhoven prospect’s performances have since led to rumours of a move back to Europe, with Southampton one of the clubs reported to be interested in his signature [h/t futbolMLS.com].

Saints boss Ronald Koeman worked with the Texas-native at PSV between 2006 and 2007 and, while Agudelo has joked that his diminutive teammate might not to pack on some muscle to withstand the rigours of the Premier League, he believes that a reunion between the pair would prove a raving success.

“Lee Nguyen is just an amazing player,” said Agudelo, who himself saw work permit issues scupper a move to Stoke last season. “He’s a player who’s able to manage the game, keep the ball and make us strikers look good.”

Continuing on whether Nguyen could make it at Southampton, the striker added: “I believe so. I told him he’d have to go to the gym a bit but I think his technical ability – which is unbelievable – and his feet would protect him from getting bodied because he’s so quick.

“It would be a good place for him to play because Southampton play good football.”

Having been used in a deeper midfield role so far this term, Nguyen has not been able to put up as impressive numbers as 2014, recording just one goal and two assists in his first 11 games.

However, he has still been an important part of New England’s successful start to the term which sees them sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference, as Agudelo himself has stressed.

“I think he’s been very good,” the US international said. “[This year] I think he feels a little bit less pressure to perform and thinks more about just winning games, which is the most important thing.

“He’s not scoring goals but he is being effective for us.”

Nguyen failed to make much of an impression during his previous European stint, earning just two appearances for PSV before leaving in 2009 for an indifference spell with Danish outfit Randers FC.

However, the versatile No. 10’s performances with the Revs suggest that he does possess the qualities to succeed across the pond, where he could soon be heading after the voicing his displeasure over his contract.

Speaking to New England Soccer Today earlier this month after sitting out training in protest, the six-times capped international said: “I was obviously unhappy with the contract situation. It’s just frustrating, and I just feel a little disrespected.

“Despite what I’ve done for the club and not even being the [fifth]-highest paid player on the club, I just feel a little undervalued.”

Southampton would no doubt be able to offer him more than the $193,750-per-annum he was earning as of last season [h/t mlsplayers.org] but, given his age and lack of goals in recent months, it remains to be seen whether a deal will materialise.

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