in , , , , ,

Southampton rewarding this 26-year-old star with a new deal would be the right move by Hasenhuttl

Southampton defender Jack Stephens in action. (Getty Images)
Southampton defender Jack Stephens in action. (Getty Images)

Why Southampton should offer Jack Stephens a new deal

According to Hampshire Live, Southampton defender Jack Stephens is in line for a contract extension at St.Mary’s after a successful Premier League campaign for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.

Stephens started 27 times in the Premier League last season en route to the Saints’ 11th-place finish and Southampton are planning to reward the 26-year-old’s impressive progress with a new deal.

Profile 

Born in Torpoint, Jack Stephens rose through the youth ranks of Plymouth Argyle and made his professional debut for his boyhood club before earning a move to Southampton back in 2011. 

The 26-year-old was handed his senior bow for the Saints in the following year but he had to go through loan spells at Swindon Town, Middlesbrough, and Coventry City before establishing himself in the first-team at St.Mary’s. 

Jack Stephens: 'I wanted to prove people wrong. I'd been written ...
Jack Stephens started 27 PL games for Southampton last season (Getty Images)

Stephens has since had a stop-start career at Southampton, finding himself in and out of the team under different managers. However, the 2019-20 season was arguably the most fruitful of his professional career so far. The central defender made 27 league starts – his highest involvement in a single Premier League season.

Why a new deal would be ideal 

Stephens had struggled for consistency earlier in his career and was largely used as a squad player at Southampton. However, his rise to prominence as a regular starter under Hasenhuttl last season seems like a promise of better things to come.

The 26-year-old’s improvement over the past 12 months certainly can’t be ignored. It’s imperative to say that Stephens still has his best years ahead of him as a centre-back. With a senior figure like Maya Yoshida departing the club, the onus will be on the likes of Stephens, Jan Bednarek and Jannik Vestergaard to hold things together for the Saints in the years to come.

The recruitment of Mohammed Salisu from Real Valladolid will ensure stiff competition for places at the back. But Stephens could continue to be a regular starter if he keeps his levels up.

FPL Wildcard targets: Jack Stephens
Stephens has a contract at St.Mary’s until the summer of 2022 (Getty Images)

Read More

Verdict

Jack Stephens might not be amongst the most flamboyant players at St.Mary’s. But he brings a lot of value to the side with his quality and versatility, including the ability to play as a holding midfielder.

He already has a couple of years remaining on his existing deal but Southampton should extend his stay at the earliest after an impressive campaign.

Aaron Ramsey (Getty Images)

Newcastle signing this 29-year-old proven Welsh star would be a top class addition to their ranks

Ronaldo Vieira (Image credit: Google)

Leeds would be quite clever to re-sign their 22-year-old former star available for £9m this summer