Southampton make official bid for Ghanaian wonderkid

Kamaldeen Sulemana of Stade Rennais (Photo by Peter Lous/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
Kamaldeen Sulemana of Stade Rennais (Photo by Peter Lous/BSR Agency/Getty Images) /

As Southampton continues to search for a top forward, they have landed their sights on Rennes’ Kamaldeen Sulemana.

According to The Athletic, Southampton has submitted a bid worth £17.5M to Rennes for Kamaldeen Sulemana with just days left in the January transfer window.

The Athletic also reports that PSV Eindhoven is keeping tabs on the player, as the Dutch club looks to search for a replacement for the departed Cody Gakpo. Speaking of the Dutch superstar, it is he who Southampton missed out on in the summer transfer window after pushing aggressively to sign him. It is no surprise the club is still looking to splash big money on a forward to help them with their goal-scoring problems.

Kamaldeen Sulemana moved to Rennes in 2021 for €17M from Danish side FC Nordsjælland. Connecting the dots together, it would make sense that Southampton Director of Football, Rasmus Ankersen, is very familiar with the Ghanaian forward. It was confirmed earlier this window that Ankersen is leading Southampton’s transfer strategy this window.

Sulemana hails from the famous Right to Dream academy in Ghana which notably has seen a large percentage of academy graduates move to Denmark, like Sulemana.

While Sulemana has not put up a lot of goal contributions with Rennes, the French club could be set to see a profit on the player.

As mentioned by Fabrizio Romano earlier this month, Everton is also interested in the forward. The Top Flight recently reported that Anthony Gordon could leave Everton, giving the club additional funds for a potential Sulemana transfer.

Does Kamaldeen Sulemana to Southampton make sense?

Given an overwhelming majority of Southampton fans want to see a striker brought in, it would be reasonable to say no but manager Nathan Jones’ has made it clear that he is not necessarily looking for a number 9 but someone with “potency in the attacking area”.

Scotland international Che Adams has been under a lot of heat recently despite being the top goal scorer this season as the striker has missed 9 big chances this season – joint 6th. All things indicate that the club should be searching for a poacher but recently linked forwards fit under a playmaking style.

Sulemana’s biggest strength by a long shot is his dribbling. He ranks in the 98th percentile of forwards (Top 5 Leagues) in dribbling (source: fbref). He’s a player that is very good at what he does but is it what Southampton needs? That remains to be seen but it is expected that Sulemana would see a massive increase in his playtime.