Southampton could turn to Nottingham Forest ace Joe Worrall after losing Jannik Vestergaard to Premier League rivals Leicester City, as reported by Hampshire Live.
If Saturday’s opening day clash with Rafa Benitez’s Everton is anything to go by, the Saints have already made a decent fist of replacing one departed talisman with a player from the division below.
Adam Armstrong marked his Southampton debut on Saturday with the sort of dead-eyed, ice-cool finish Danny Ings had made his trademark in red-and-white.
With Vestergaard now chasing the Champions League places under Brendan Rodgers rather than glancing nervously at the relegation zone on the South Coast, Ralph Hasenhuttl may look to the second tier again with a fortnight of the window remaining.
Will Joe Worrall follow Adam Armstrong to Southampton?
According to Hampshire Live, Nottingham Forest want around £12 million for Worrall.
Southampton should have few problems meeting that fee.
They have made over £50 million in player sales so far this summer and, even when you factor in new signings Armstrong and Romain Perraud, the Saints still have a net profit of around £25 million.
On the other hand, this is a born-and-bred, dyed-in-the-wool Forest fanatic we are talking about – cut him and he bleeds red of the Garibaldi variety – and a graduate of the infamous Nigel Doughty Academy has rebuffed Premier League approaches in the past.
While Nottingham Forest certainly have a history when it comes to cashing in on homegrown fan favourites – from Matty Cash to Jamaal Lascelles – letting Worrall go now may elicit a furious reaction from a fanbase already bemoaning a dreadful start to the Championship season.
The Madejski Stadium starlet would not be a replacement for Worrall, however, merely someone capable of filling in at centre-half or at right-back if required.
Worrall has also been linked with West Ham United. The Hammers could return to the table after bids for Nikola Milenkovic and Kurt Zouma collapsed.
“Outstanding. He will be a captain of whatever team he plays for,” Steven Gerrard said during Worrall’s loan spell at Rangers (Sun).
“He is a leader.”