Southampton lining up bid for Swansea defender Alfie Mawson

Southampton are on the look-out for a Virgil van Dijk replacement following the defender's staggering switch to Liverpool.

Southampton lining up bid for Swansea defender Alfie Mawson
(Photo by Paul Jenkins/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Reports are suggesting that Southampton are already lining up potential January targets, with the priority being to strengthen the back line after Virgil van Dijk ​was sold to Liverpool.

The Saints currently only have three centre-backs amongst the first-team and Mauricio Pellegrino is apparently on the search for reinforcements. Swansea City defender Alfie Mawson is currently topping the list but it's said the club are also diving into the continental market in their attempt to swoop for a replacement.

Mawson, 23, is plying his trade at the bottom of the table for the Swans. He originally joined the Welsh outfit last summer from Championship side Barnsley and has largely impressed at the Liberty Stadium, despite struggling to help lift the club away from the relegation zone. 

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Is Alfie Mawson the right man for Southampton?

There is no denying that Alfie Mawson is a suitable candidate to play in the Premier League, however, his age is not a reflection of the requirements the Saints find themselves needing. A poor run of results which has seen Pellegrino's men slip down the top-flight table to slump just two points above the drop has seen the defence become the target for a large part of criticism. 

Therefore, Southampton certainly need experience and a leader in the heart of the back line to rejuvenate this diminishing Saints team as we approach the new year.

Mawson has swiftly become a fan favourite at Swansea City and that's proven via the number of minutes he's appeared this season. The former England under-21 international has played every moment of Premier League action this campaign - 1,800 minutes. 

Southampton would wholeheartedly benefit from the acquisition of Alfie Mawson if Mauricio Pellegrino is looking for a towering, demanding centre-back who leads and puts himself on the line for his team-mates. Yet again, it may be the experience the Saints are lacking and he may not obtain those qualities.