Saints Linked With Brentford Defender Sunday, 13th Jan 2019 21:50
Saints are being strongly linked with Brentford central defender Chris Mepham , but is he of the quality needed.
Brentford defender Chris Mepham is rumoured to be a target for Saints but is the 21 year old ready for the Premier League now or one for the future.
Certainly he seems to be a little raw to be ready to be thrown in at the deep end having only turned 21 in November and only a season and a half's experience in the Championship for the Bee's.
Ironically he got his chance in the Brentford first team after the departure of Harlee Dean to Birmingham at the start of last season, some Saints fans may remember that Dean spent two seasons with Saints between 2010-12 after signing from Dagenham & Redbridge, a strange signing given the then 19 year old had been released from the Daggers having made only one appearance, that was however one more than he made for Saints and although he did make the bench in a couple of cup ties he never got on the pitch in a first team game.
With Saints back in the Premier he was released and joined Brentford where he spent the last six months of his Saints career on loan and racked up over 200 games before leaving for Birmingham.
Although he was born in West London Mepham has been capped at full international level by Wales and at 6ft 3 is not only commanding in the air in the centre of defence but can play at right back and would certainly fit into a back three easily.
I wouldn't completely rule out this signing, Ralph Hasenhuttl certainly has a penchant for giving youth a chance and not being scared to use youngsters, but ost Saints fans would say experience is needed at the back at the moment and if we did sign Mepham then we should perhaps be looking for a short term option as well even if it is on loan.
Agree we ideally want a solid CB. However, I can't see us getting Cahill. Fulham seems the more likely destination. We won't match the wages and he is more likely to join Fulham given the Ranieri connection.
RH has indicated that any new players are for the long term. If true, this move fits that bill exactly.
Hard to know if any of these rumoured signings have any substance and I'll be the first to admit that I've never heard of Chris Mepham until a few days ago. That said I'm not going to write him off because he isn't a recognised fading star on massive wages, quite honestly Fulham are welcome to Cahill because he'll just become another part of their disjointed squad. Maybe Alfie Jones is going to be used as part of a deal, on loan or otherwise, whilst Hoedt is offloaded to anyone who will massage his ego? As a slight aside I wonder if Bournemouth are going to have their plans disrupted by the vultures circling around Wilson and Ake, as we know once the tapping up process starts it's very difficult to keep players if their heads are turned. Maybe Brentford supporters are having the same experience with Mepham.
Good point Highfield - it always pays to remember that we are sometimes the vultures ourselves.
As for this player - I have no idea but surely it is a bit risky to be buying future prospects when we need strengthening NOW. It is great that Ralph is thinking in the long term but we are just one point clear of the death zone.
Good question Nick. If you have a young player with a bit of pedigree, then you can see how he's developed after a few seasons, but (like almost everyone else) he's a new name to me. Of course.... if " the Black Box" has been tracking him since he was 15 and we know alot about him, then maybe there is some credence to the story. On the face of it, he seems like a "Bednarek clone " and may take time to develop, but being "a good player in a poor side" often means he might have some class. Time will tell.
Subsequent to my earlier post a bit of research online indicates that Mepham could be a very useful player. He is rated as being quick with good passing skills, likes to get forward and is quick to recover if caught out of position. It seems as though Bournemouth bid £10m for him last January but got turned down. Leicester have also been tracking his progress since the start of this season. That of course could be related to their respective concerns about losing Ake and Maguire in the near future? My guess would be that there is some truth in the rumours as he looks like exactly the sort of player that RH wants to bring to the club.