This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Hull City could be set for a nervous period ahead of the January transfer window over the long-term future of Keane Lewis-Potter as interest in him emerges.
According to the latest report from The Sun, Premier League Southampton are monitoring Lewis-Potter ahead of potentially making a move to sign him in the January transfer window.
It is believed that scouts from Southampton have watched Lewis-Potter in action for the Tigers in the Championship so far this season.
While The Sun also report that the Saints are set to keep an eye on the attacker over the coming months ahead of the winter window.
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Lewis-Potter has been a strong performer for Hull in most of their games this season, he produced a Man of the Match display in their 4-1 win at Preston North End on the opening day of the campaign. While he also netted a consolation in the Tigers’ 3-1 loss against Sheffield United on Saturday.
So, with Southampton monitoring Lewis-Potter at the moment, we asked our FLW writers whether he would be a strong signing for the Saints and if he would be ready for the Premier League…
This is a difficult one.
Although Keane Lewis-Potter is an exceptionally talented individual at the MKM Stadium, it remains to be seen whether he could instantly make the jump up from the Championship to the Premier League, so he’s similar to Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien in that sense.
Let’s not forget he also spent last term in League One, but recorded an impressive 19 goal contributions and with that, you could also compare him to someone like Brennan Johnson who enjoyed a very successful spell at Lincoln City last season.
Lewis-Potter was instrumental in guiding the Tigers back to the Championship as a teenager, so this ability to manage such high expectations at a high age could foreshadow his ability to adapt to the top flight straight away.
It would be a gamble by Ralph Hasenhuttl to throw him straight into a side that won’t be immune from relegation this season, so it may be a better decision for Lewis-Potter to remain in Yorkshire if he wants to get as many first-team minutes as possible.
But for Southampton, this could be an exceptional long-term acquisition at St Mary’s and one they are more than likely to get a return on investment on. However, the potential success of this signing depends on how they would manage him.
He needs to be nurtured in the way right at this crucial stage of his career.
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This could prove to be a very smart signing for Southampton if they do get this done.
In the wake of Hull’s struggles, Lewis-Potter has been one of the Tigers more impressive players since their return to the Championship this season.
As a result, you can understand why the Saints might be interested in the young attacker, and he would not be the first promising young forward they have plucked out of the Championship recently – see Adam Armstrong and Che Adams.
Admittedly, you get the feeling that Lewis-Potter is still lacking the experience required to be a regular feature in top-flight football, but at 20-years-old, he has plenty of time to change that, and he certainly has the potential to develop into a Premier League player, with the confidence and creativity he adds on the ball.
With that in mind, it could be sensible for Southampton to try and move for him now, before another clubs looks to beat them to it.
Whilst I have no doubts that Lewis-Potter is a talented player, it may be a bit too early for him to jump to the Premier League in my eyes.
The winger was thrown in at the deep end during the 2019-20 season as he was gradually blooded in by Grant McCann before the abrupt departures of Kamil Grosicki and Jarrod Bowen from the Tigers, and when they left there was huge responsibility on his shoulders to bring goal contributions to the team.
Last season in League One was an important one as he scored 13 goals and it will have done his development as a player all the world of good and despite Hull’s lack of scoring so far this season since their 4-1 opening day win over Preston North End, Lewis-Potter has still been one of the few bright sparks.
Even though I think he could do with staying in the Championship for the full season, Southampton wouldn’t be the worst team in the world to make a switch to.
They normally utilise very attacking wingers in a 4-4-2 system under Ralph Hasenhuttl and if given the creative freedom then Lewis-Potter could do some damage – but if I was in Hull’s shoes I’d be rejecting any advances until at least the summer.