- Southampton are actively looking to sign Premier League defender Ben Johnson before the transfer window closes.
- Johnson would be a shrewd signing for Saints, as he has valuable Premier League experience despite his young age.
- Southampton’s pursuit of Johnson could go down to the wire ahead of tonight’s deadline.
Southampton could complete some last-gasp transfer business with the addition of a Premier League defender, according to a new update from journalist Mike McGrath.
What positions do Saints need today?
Saints have had a busy summer in the transfer market, with a rebuild of the squad badly needed after their relegation to the Championship 2023/24, in which they underperformed throughout the campaign.
Admittedly, losing the likes of James Ward-Prowse and Romeo Lavia to West Ham and Chelsea respectively was a big blow, but they have brought in some impressive new signings, as they look to make a quick return to the top flight.
Shea Carles is an exciting young addition from Manchester City, coming in as a long-term acquisition who could also be an important figure from the start, while the likes of Flynn Downes, Ryan Fraser and Mason Holgate have joined to provide more immediate high level experience.
While the summer transfer window is now extremely close to slamming shut on Friday night, there is still a chance for Southampton to conduct some important last-minute business.
Will Southampton sign Ben Johnson?
According to The Telegraph‘s McGrath, Southampton are looking to make a late move for West Ham full-back Ben Johnson before the end of deadline day:
“Southampton have been trying to get a deal done for West Ham full-back Ben Johnson. Departures in David Moyes’ squad have not been helped by having a Premier League fixture on the evening of deadline day.”
Johnson could be a really shrewd late signing by Saints, should they manage to get a deal over the line, having picked up plenty of Premier League experience, despite still only being 23 years of age.
The Englishman only has one year remaining on his current West Ham deal, so they could be tempted to offload him this summer, in order to receive a fee rather than lose him for free next year – that’s assuming a permanent move is most likely, with the update not actually specifying that.
Johnson has won ten caps for England Under-21s in the past, showing that he possesses pedigree at international level, while 87 appearances for West Ham proves that he can perform at the highest level – 55 of those have come in the Premier League – so he could excel even more dropping down a division where the drop down in quality and speed is fairly significant.
At just 23, the West Ham youngster still has so many years ahead of him, too – Hammers boss David Moyes has called him a “really important” player for his side in the past – so it feels like a no-brainer for Southampton when it comes to bolstering their squad in 2023/24.
Whether a move comes to fruition remains to be seen, but it is encouraging to see Saints looking to the Premier League for possible new signings, showing genuine ambition as they look to make their stay in the Championship as brief as possible, rather than end up languising in the second tier for the foreseeable future.