Southampton would be quite smart to seal a cut-price swoop for this 27-year-old African star


Why Southampton should eye cut-price swoop for Youssouf Sabaly 

Back in January, a report from Sport Witness (h/t Lancashire Evening Post) had mentioned Southampton among the potential suitors for Bordeaux full-back Youssouf Sabaly. Brighton and Fulham were also interested in signing the Senegalese international but he ended up staying put in France. 


Born in France to parents of Senegalese descent, Youssouf Sabaly completed his footballing education in the youth ranks of Paris Saint-Germain. He represented the club’s reserve team but never made a senior competitive appearance for the Ligue 1 heavyweights, spending time on loan at Evian Thonon and Nantes in the top-flight. 

Sabaly joined Bordeaux on a permanent deal in 2017 on the back of a successful loan spell and has since gone on to make 130 appearances for the club in all competitions, registering 15 assists in the process.

A full international for Senegal since 2017, the full-back represented his nation at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and was a part of the squad that finished runners-up at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. 

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Lille’s French forward Jonathan Bamba (front) is challenged by Bordeaux’s French-Senegalese defender Youssouf Sabaly during the French L1 football match between Lille LOSC and FC Girondins de Bordeaux at the Pierre-Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq, northern France on December 13, 2020. (Photo by DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images)

Sabaly would add more depth to the Saints’ backline

Southampton added some quality young talent to their ranks in the summer in the form of Ibrahima Diallo and Mohammed Salisu. Kyle Walker-Peters also joined the set-up at St. Mary’s on a permanent deal from Tottenham after impressing on loan during the second half of last season. 

The Saints are currently flying high following a stunning start to the 2020-21 campaign. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are placed 4th in the standings with 7 wins from 12 games so far and a potential return to Europe shouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility if Southampton maintain the consistency levels in the coming months. 

With that in mind, Hasenhuttl should eye up some fresh additions to his squad in January in a bid to consolidate on the strong platform that has already been laid down. While Southampton are pretty well-stocked in attack, they might as well do with some quality depth and cover in both full-back departments. 

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Rennes’ French forward Romain Del Castillo (L) fights for the ball with Bordeaux’s French-Senegalese defender Youssouf Sabaly during the French L1 football match between Stade Rennais and Bordeaux, at the Roazhon Park stadium in Rennes, northwestern France on November 20, 2020. (Photo by DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images)

Walker-Peters has been an impressive performer at right-back. Ryan Bertrand, on the other hand, has been a regular fixture for the Saints on the left and is still going strong at 31. 

Southampton, though, lack quality alternatives on both sides of their backline. Academy graduates Yan Valery and Jake Vokins are the only specialist back-ups available at the manager’s disposal. With Bertrand out of contract next summer, the Saints should line up some potential options to add more depth to their full-back department.

Youssouf Sabaly fits the bill as a versatile player capable of operating as a full-back on either flank. The vastly experienced Senegalese international boasts more than 200 club career appearances in the French top-flight and has been a consistent performer for his country over the past few years.

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Bordeaux’s defender Youssouf Sabaly (R) vies with Le Mans’ midfielder Harrison Manzala during the French cup football match between Bordeaux and Le Mans on January 3, 2020, at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux, southwestern France. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)

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Youssouf Sabaly still potentially has his best years ahead of him at 27 and he looks more than ready to test his credentials in English football.

With his contract at Bordeaux set to expire at the end of the season, the door remains open for Southampton to fancy their chances of snapping him up for a knockdown price in January. The Senegalese international could hand a massive boost to the Saints’ backline as they bid to push on for greater heights under Hasenhuttl.