It’s being reported today by Sky Sports that Soutampton manager Mark Hughes – or our Executive team in fairness – have set their sites on 20-year-old Mali international midfielder Amadou Haidara.
It’s a typical ‘understands’ piece from the broadcaster but he was undoubtedly one of Red Bull Salzburg’s standout performers in 2017/18 and from the middle of the park he contributed eight goals in 55 appearances as they stormed to the Austrian Bundesliga title last season – they won it by 13 points – and he also played his part in their run to the semi-finals of the Europa League.
Despite his tender age, he’s getting plenty of game time and experience and clearly, some are taking note of his progress.
On an international front, he made his debut for his country last year in their World Cup qualifier against Ivory Coast.
With Southampton’s youthful approach and talent for development, he ticks the box on that score alone, especially if Hughes does pivot back to using youngsters on a far more regular basis, so this might be one to watch given his pedigree.
The more cautious side of me notes that a number of outlets have ran with headlines with a ‘missed out on James Maddison’ spin, so my default view of it’s a load of nonsense is probably likely to be true.