Fulham’s first piece of business in the January transfer window is one that has been welcomed by the majority of Fulham fans. Targett has been in Slavisa’s sights for a while now according to local media and it comes as no surprise that it is the defence that has been identified as the area where most improvement is needed. However, there is something unusual about the transfer which is that most people seem to be more excited about what this means for another player rather than Targett himself. The acquisition of a left-back means that Ryan Sessegnon will most likely be played further up the field, which is exactly what we have been calling for, and for so long.
There is no doubt that Sessegnon is more useful playing in a left-wing position, but we can also be excited of the prospect of having yet another England Youth international join our ranks for more reasons than just Sessegnon’s starting position.
In Targett, we have a player developed at one of the most successful football academies in England. Past graduates from the Southampton Academy include Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Gareth Bale and, my personal favourite, Chris Baird. Southampton have a strong history of producing talent, so we know for a fact that our new boy has had a very solid football education.
He is another defender who isn’t afraid of attacking and should fit in nicely to Slav’s ‘playing from the back’ footballing philosophy. He made his Southampton league debut back in 2014 and managed 12 appearances in all competitions that season at the age of just 19, which isn’t a bad return at a club with so many youngsters coming through. He also went on to win the Young Player of the Year award in 2014-15. His opportunities over the next few seasons, however, came in bursts and were eventually limited due to the signing of Ryan Bertrand from Chelsea 2015. In all, Targett has made 42 senior appearances for Southampton and gained deserved plaudits after one particularly good display in a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the League Cup back in 2014. He also has 12 caps for the England U21’s.
Before the start of this season, Southampton made known just how much they rate Targett when they handed him a new 5-year contract. However, they feel that it is time for Targett to get more consistent football than what they can give him at the minute and feel that a step down to the Championship to a promotion chasing side will do him the world of good.
It seems as though the 22-year old is raring to go and we know full well how useful young players can be when they are trying to make a point to their parent clubs. I think we have a good one here, and I’m excited to see what he can offer us as we try and mount a promotion bid.