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Need of the hour – Southampton would strike gold by beating Everton to sign this 23-goal striker with £54.4m release clause

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Southampton Opinion: Saints should beat Everton to sign Haris Seferovic

According to claims from Portuguese outlet A Bola, as cited by Swiss website Blick, Southampton and Everton are amongst the Premier League clubs to have registered an interest in Benfica’s Swiss international striker Haris Seferovic

Blick also reports that Seferovic has a contract with Benfica until the summer of 2022, with his release clause set at £54.4 million.

The 27-year-old racked up a staggering 23 goals and 5 assists for Benfica in the Primeira Liga this past season to propel the Portuguese giants to yet another domestic league title. Seferovic registered a career-best tally this season and his red-hot form in front of goal hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The Swiss international has been in tremendous form on the international front for Switzerland as well, finishing as the top-scorer in the group stages of UEFA Nations League A with 5 goals to fire his nation into the semi-finals, where they will be facing Portugal next month.

Seferovic netted a hat-trick in November as Switzerland came back from 0-2 down to win 5-2 against Belgium and qualified to the knockout rounds as the group toppers.

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Seferovic has had a nomadic career in European football so far, having had stints in the Serie A with Fiorentina, Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga and Real Sociedad in the La Liga before joining Benfica in the summer of 2017. He never showed signs of evolving into a prolific goalscorer prior to this past season, having netted 19 in 96 appearances for Frankfurt, 1 in 12 for Fiorentina and 4 in 40 for Real Sociedad.

However, he finally came into his own this time around, having registered a tally of 32 goals in 56 games for club and country combined. Those numbers are a massive upgrade on his returns in the previous seasons and there is every possibility that the 27-year-old has finally entered into his prime as a centre-forward. Having racked up a career-best tally this season, it is now time for him to consolidate and establish himself as one of the most feared strikers in European football.

As things stand, Seferovic would be a good signing for either of the two aforementioned clubs. While Everton can look at him as a replacement for Cenk Tosun, the Swiss international can also be an excellent addition to Southampton’s ranks. In fact, the Saints would do themselves a massive favour by fending off interest from their PL rivals to sign the in-form centre-forward this summer.

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Lack of firepower up front was one of the major talking points from Southampton’s Premier League campaign this past season, with the likes of Danny Ings, Shane Long and Charlie Austin failing to make much of an impact. They are going to sign Danny Ings from Liverpool permanently but manager Ralph Hasenhuttl should also look for upgrades on his existing striking options.

And there is every possibility that Seferovic could be an instant hit at St.Mary’s next season, although the Saints might be put off by his price tag. Standing at 6ft. 2inches with a well-built frame, the 27-year-old is not only strong in the air and a dominant presence inside the box but he also brings a lot to the attack with his hold-up play and ability to feed his teammates with lovely through balls and key passes.

An intelligent striker with good awareness and sharp instincts, he tends to lose his marker with his subtle movement and often gets himself into scoring positions inside the box.

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It is beyond doubt that Seferovic has all the attributes to develop into a world-class striker and given that he was in terrific form this past season, this summer might just be the right time for him to prove his worth in a tougher league.

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Southampton haven’t had any luck with their big-money signings in recent times, with the likes of Guido Carrillo, Sofiane Boufal and Mohamed Elyounoussi all failing to make a significant impact. Seferovic though looks like the real deal and the Saints should look to put all their past failures behind and strike a deal for the Swiss hitman this summer.

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