Southampton are planning an ambitious January swoop for Mohamed-Ali Cho, who is also a target for Chelsea.
According to The Sun, Southampton have emerged as the latest club to be linked with a move for Mohamed-Ali Cho. They are hoping to offer the Angers forward a quick route to English football in January, with the player likely to be available for a fee of around £20 million.
A native of Stains, Ali Cho, was a member of the Everton youth academy between 2015 and 2019 before joining Angers at the start of last year. The youngster joined the French club in search of a breakthrough in professional football.
It was a wise move by the attacker, who has since established himself as one of the most exciting talents in French football. In just under two years, Ali Cho has notched up 41 competitive appearances for the club, with 18 of them coming in the new season.
The 17-year-old’s tally of just two goals and no assists is far from impressive. But the youngster has made a solid impression with his technique, pace and ability to drift past defenders. He is also quite useful when squeezing through tight spaces, and his excellent offensive partnership alongside Sofiane Boufal has played a key role in helping Angers sit comfortably in mid-table so far.
Southampton’s interest in Ali Cho likely stems from their lack of quality in the offensive department. With just 16 goals, the Saints have the joint fourth worst attacking record in the league, with the club struggling to deal with life without star striker Danny Ings, who joined Aston Villa in the summer.
Loan signing Armando Broja has shown some promising signs, but none of the other attacking options are yet to step up to the plate. That is where someone like Mohamed-Ali Cho comes into the fray. Although the youngster doesn’t have a lot of experience at the highest level of football, he can offer the spark that is missing in the Southampton frontline this season.
However, Ralph Hasenhuttl is set to face stiff competition in the pursuit of the Angers starlet. The attacker is already a target for Chelsea, who have been scouting him for a while now.
It appears Thomas Tuchel has identified Ali Cho as an ideal long-term prospect that can eventually replace some of the unwanted players in his team, including Christian Pulisic. The American international is facing an uncertain future at the club amid interest from FC Barcelona.
Southampton are hoping they can lure the player with the promise of regular game-time, which does sound quite appealing from the player’s perspective. But at the age of just 17, it remains unlikely that the youngster would want to make such a drastic jump in his career, especially with Angers doing well in the Ligue 1 this season.