Key Decision Made On Southampton Striker

Turkish Super Lig outfit Trabzonspor have switched their attention to Burnley striker Wout Weghorst after conceding defeat in their attempt to sign Paul Onuachu from Southampton on a permanent basis.

The 29-year-old only joined the Saints in February 2023 for a fee of £18.6 million as they chased Premier League survival. He arrived from Belgian club Genk with a big reputation, having scored 85 goals in 134 appearances. However, he was unable to make an impact in his short stint on the south coast, featuring just 11 times without netting as Southampton were relegated.

Onuachu found himself out of manager Russell Martin’s plans at the beginning of this season. He failed to make a matchday squad in the Championship, although did make a brief outing as a substitute in the Carabao Cup first round defeat against Gillingham in August.

Former club Genk were interested bringing him back to Belgium before the end of the summer transfer window. The Saints were keen on winger Joseph Paintsil in return, ultimately causing the move to fall through. Trabzonspor took full advantage of the situation, agreeing a season-long deal in September.

The Nigerian international was an immediate success at his new temporary club. He scored in his first three outings and by November the attacker had added another four, prompting speculation that the Turks were exploring a permanent deal.

A call-up to the African Cup of Nations alongside injuries have limited Onuachu to just four appearances since the turn of the year, although Trabzonspor were still keen on extending his stay. Southampton have remained steadfast in their £10 million valuation of the player, prompting the Karadeniz Fırtınası to turn their attentions elsewhere.

According to FanatikDutch international Wout Weghorst has now emerged as a summer target. Currently on loan at German side Hoffenheim from Burnley, the 31-year-old is likely to be sold this summer. He has experience in the Super Lig, having spent the first half of last season at Besiktas before his season-long deal was cut short following the emergence of interest from Manchester United.

He scored just twice in 31 outings for the Red Devils and failed to find the net in the Premier League, although did hit nine in 18 during his stint at Besiktas.

The report does state that Trabzonspor still remain keen on Onuachu, although are not prepared to meet Southampton’s asking price. However, a further loan spell could be considered.

The Saints remain fourth in the Championship, nine points off the automatic promotion places. Russell Martin’s side do possess two games in hand though as they look to bounce back to the top tier at the first time of asking.

Writer’s View

Southampton’s £10 million stance is understandable considering they paid over £18 million for the player just over a year ago. They may need to reconsider though and a further loan departure does appear to be the most likely scenario this summer.

If that is the case, Trabzonspor are sure to renew their interest and it may be the desired outcome for all parties. Onuachu is clearly enjoying his time in Turkey, although it will be interesting to see if Genk return to the table.

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About Jamie Ward 519 Articles
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