Southampton linked with Luxembourg international Laurent Jans

Claude Puel is prepared to spend £1 million to make Jans the first ever Luxembourg international to play in England's top flight.

Southampton linked with Luxembourg international Laurent Jans
Jans could join Southampton this January to strengthen the Saints at right-back. Photo: Getty.

With the turn of the year in the not too distant future, it is no surprise to see transfer rumours flooding in from all angles, as the January window draws ever closer.

Southampton are no exception to this, although they do look set to secure one of the most peculiar deals of the season. With the Saints' European commitments adding to the traditionally hectic Christmas and New Year fixture list domestically, manager Claude Puel is desperate to bolster his weak and depleted squad.

Saints manager Claude Puel will surely want to strengthen his team in January. Photo: Getty.
Saints manager Claude Puel will surely want to strengthen his team in January. Photo: Getty. Glyn Kirk

Intriguingly, an answer seems to have been found in the shape of right-back Laurent Jans from Luxembourg, one of Europe's smallest countries. Nevertheless, the arrival of the 24-year-old would reduce Southampton's squad depth worries, as well as make Premier League history.

The right-back problem

The demanding effects of regular European football have begun to take their toll on Southampton, who have had to cope with several injuries to multiple key players already this season. The position where they have had the least luck is almost certainly right-back. 

When the season began, the Saints had three right-backs in their squad; Cedric Soares, Cuco Martina and new signing Jeremy Pied. It looked as if the only problem Puel would have regarding this fullback spot would be giving the trio each enough game time throughout the campaign.

However, things since have gone rather less swimmingly. To ease his selection headache, Puel was ready to let Martina reunite with former boss Ronald Koeman at EvertonYet just days before Martina was predicted to leave for Merseyside, his Saints colleague Pied sustained a long-term, season-ending knee injury.

Injuries have been a constant problem for Southampton this season.
Injuries have been a constant problem for Southampton this season. Photo: Getty.

With just days left of the summer transfer window, Puel could not risk letting Martina go, leaving the Curacao international remaining on the South Coast after all. 

Three months into the season and the right-back spot, which at one stage looked like being the least of Southampton's worries, has proved very problematic at St Mary's. Last month's injury to Cedric Soares has left Martina as first-choice by default, but the 27-year-old's performances have been far from ideal, and playing twice a week regularly is very physically demanding. As a result, the Saints are in desperate need of relief.

The solution

Laurent Jans, currently starting right-back for Belgian side Waasland-Beveren, looks like being the one to provide that relief. The man from Luxembourg has been impressive in the Pro League and, with a price tag of just £1 million, Puel believes this is an opportunity not to be missed. 

Jans has been in good form for his current club Waasland-Beveren in Belgium. Photo: Getty.
Jans has been in good form for his current club Waasland-Beveren in Belgium. Photo: Getty.

Jans has played regular for his country since making his debut in 2012, featuring 29 times. Despite this, his potential arrival in the Premier League would undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows.

Although far from a household name, the signing of Jans could be crucial for Southampton's season. With Cedric injured and Martina struggling, he would very much increase both the Saints' quality and quantity in the right-back position.

If Jans is a hit at Southampton and Cedric hit the ground running on return from his lay-off, the door could be opened for Martina to belatedly make his move up north to the Toffees.

History Maker

As well as being a welcome addition to Puel's squad, the acquisition of Jans would also make Premier League history, as he would make little Luxembourg the 106th nationality to be represented in the Premier League.

Jans is a regular for Luxembourg, and could be about to represent them in the biggest league in the world. Photo: Getty.
Jans is a regular for Luxembourg, and could be about to represent them in the biggest league in the world. Photo: Getty.

The European minnows are renowned for their low taxes rather than their football pedigree, and have won just six of their 99 competitive matches. However, seeing Jans in the Premier League would be a proud moment for the nation's football lovers and, with his cheap price and Southampton's right-back concerns, this seems very likely.