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Holland’s ‘next big thing’ is latest Southampton target

| 21.04.2015

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman is set to raid his former club for promising 20-year-old Tonny Vilhena this summer.

That is according to reports that suggest the Holland U21 star has decided to call time on his Feyenoord career.

Vilhena is highly regarded in the Eredivisie but has endured something of a disappointing season at De Kuip.

However, Koeman – who gave the youngster his senior debut in 2012 – remains convinced he has the talent to succeed and has added his former charge’s name to a list of fellow Dutchmen he is trying to acquire.

News of Koeman’s interest in Vilhena follows reports that the Saints boss is planning a double swoop on Newcastle United for goalkeeper Tim Krul and another former Feyenoord star in Daryl Janmaat.

Vilhena may have disappointed at times this season, failing to register a goal or assist in his 20 appearances, but a return to the form of last season, which saw him chip in with six goals and nine assists, would have St Mary’s fans welcoming his arrival on the south coast.

With just a year remaining on his contract and the player recently stating he has no intention to extend his current deal, Koeman will hope the situation and his relationship with Feyenoord will allow for a speedy sale to be completed at an agreeable price.

A fee of £5m has been mooted and if Vilhena can be as impactful in the Premier League as he was for Feyenoord last term, Southampton’s upward trajectory toward the upper echelons of England’s top flight could well gather pace.

Next up for Saints is the visit of a Tottenham side buzzing after their 3-1 beating of Newcastle last time out.

The hosts go into the game as 11/10 favourites, while former boss Maurico Pochettino can be backed at 12/5 to lead Spurs to victory.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.