Southampton are looking to bring in two more centre-backs this summer.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ronald Koeman has admitted that his priority for the transfer window is now bringing in more centre-backs, having lost Toby Alderweireld to Tottenham Horspur, and Florin Gardos to a seven month absence due to a knee injury.
The Dutch coach said: “That's the priority, to bring in one or maximum two centre-backs. It’s too small with Maya [Yoshida] and Jose [Fonte]. Ok, we have [Jack] Stephens, we have [Jordan] Turnbull, but they are young and still they have to improve themselves and that's the point for attention at the moment, the centre-back position.”
Although Yoshida and Fonte are certainly good enough for the Premier League, and will likely be first-choice starters when the campaign comes around, the lack of cover is worrying.
Koeman has named two youngsters in Turnbull and Stephens, but he has admitted that they are still not developed enough to claim a top flight playing role.
This means that the coach is being forced to look into the transfer market for a centre-back, and potentially two should he need them.
There are no indications as to who the club have been tracking, but considering the signings made this summer have been talented young players with small reputations, it could be expected that the next centre-back acquisition will be of a similar type of player
Cuco Martina has arrived from FC Twente and is able to play centre-half, and will be able to provide cover if needed. However, Koeman has stated his priority is bringing in another natural defender, and a new signing should be expected in the coming weeks.