Southampton close in on Croatian World Cup star to highlight necessary January transfer business

New Saints boss Nathan Jones is already feeling the pressure on the south coast after Southampton suffered its sixth-straight Premier League loss yesterday, with the club looking at January business to inject life into the club

Premier League bottom-feeders Southampton are in real danger of dropping down to the Championship for the first time since 2011-12 after Saints remain entrenched in their worst season of the PL era.

Despite making a managerial change and replacing former boss Ralph Hasenhüttl with Luton Town’s Nathan Jones, their 1-0 home loss against Nottingham Forest yesterday was their sixth consecutive Premier League defeat, with the south coast club also managing just 15 goals during the current season as one of many negative highlights across a possible catastrophic domestic campaign.

But possible January business meant to inject life into the team could be on the cusp of being completed after football insider Fabrizio Romano reported that Southampton is nearing a deal for Croatian international attacking midfielder Mislav Oršić.

After rumors surfaced earlier today linking the club with interest in Everton’s Michael Keane to bolster their defensive ranks, a possible deal for the 30-year-old Oršić will add valuable experience to a young side that clearly lacks the experience to work its way out of a relegation scrap on the back of a manager who himself has considerably less experience than his predecessor.

Oršić was a key impact sub for Zlatko Dalić's Croatian outfit that finished third at the recent 2022 World Cup in Qatar after the Dinamo Zagreb’s tactical versatility and energy was regularly called upon during tournament play, with the Zagreb native also finding the back of the net against Morocco in the consolation match.

The attacking midfielder has shone for Zagreb across the last four-and-a-half seasons in the Croatian capital since his arrival in 2018 from South Korean side Ulsan Hyundai, scoring over 57 goals in the Hrvatska Nogometna Liga across 132 appearances while also performing well in continental competitions, which included a hattrick against Tottenham in the round of 16 of the Europa League last season.

Romano’s report does not mention if Oršić would be available for Saints’ clash on Saturday at Goodison Park, but the sooner the experienced forward hits the ground running for Jones’ side the better.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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