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Friday, March 31, 2023

Saints must seal Adams upgrade in Vitinha

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Southampton are hoping to complete the signing of Sporting Braga striker Vitinha before the close of the January transfer market tonight…

What’s the word?

That is according to The Athletic‘s Saints reporter Jacob Tanswell, who stated via Twitter on Monday evening that the Premier League club are “in talks” with the Portuguese outfit, with the player holding a €30m (£26.4m) release clause.

Tanswell added that while the south coast club have expressed interest in Lyon striker Moussa Dembele, who is out of contract at the end of the campaign, the French forward is “no longer a viable target”.

Adams upgrade

While Southampton are eyeing three centre-forwards ahead of the transfer window’s conclusion tonight, Vitinha might be the best-placed option to truly kickstart Nathan Jones‘ tenure at St Mary’s.

The aforementioned Dembele is perhaps a more recognisable name than the 22-year-old, but in the young Portuguese gem, Saints boss Jones could unleash a talented prospect with a vast scope to develop, possibly being nurtured into one of the division’s most devastating marksmen.

Having clinched 13 goals and five assists from 27 appearances this season, including four goals in the Europa League, Vitinha is swiftly emerging as one of Portugal’s most exciting young starlets, having nearly matched his 2021/22 tally of 14 goals across all competitions already this term.

Is Vitinha an upgrade on Che Adams?




One scout report hailed his “complete” skill set, blistering pace and imposing physicality, attributes which will only enhance his hopes of soaring in the Premier League for a Southampton outfit currently embroiled in a relegation scrap.

Journalist Zach Lowy bestowed glimmering praise on the prodigy, saying that he’s one of the best” players to forge their trade out of Liga Portugal at present, and that the Saints would clinch “one of the steals of the window” with his acquisition. 

Should Vitinha indeed arrive at St Mary’s, he would be a marked improvement on the struggling Che Adams, who has scored 29 goals from 135 appearances since his £15m move from Birmingham City in 2019 but has only managed four league goals this term for the Premier League’s bottom club.

Adams ranks outside the top 25% of every main metric that FBref has to offer, while Vitinha ranks among the top 5% of positional peers for shot-creating actions and completed dribbles, albeit compared to those outside of the ‘big five’ European divisions.

Regardless, the fresh life and transitional nature of this exciting young forward is exactly what Southampton need, and it might finally be time to ditch Adams, who is not providing the spark to steer the club away from their relegation predicament.

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