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...
Southampton are reportedly interested in a deal to sign Bristol City goalkeeper Daniel Bentley according to Bristol Live.
Bentley has been a regular in the Bristol City team in recent seasons, and has gone on to make 83 appearances in total for the Championship side.
The shot-stopper has made 38 appearances in all competitions this term for Bristol City, and has kept nine clean sheets for Nigel Pearson’s team.
The Robins are currently sat 14th in the Championship table, and are 13 points adrift of the play-off positions, which are likely to be too much of an ask to reach this season.
A move to Southampton could tempt Bentley though, with the Saints playing their football in the Premier League, although they have recently been on a poor run of form since the turn of the New Year.
But would Bentley be a good signing for Southampton, and is he needed in Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side?
I’m a little surprised.
Not because Bentley isn’t a good goalkeeper but just because Saints have decent options in goal.
He’s approaching his prime years as a goalkeeper so now might be a good time for him to move to the Premier League if he is going to move at all.
Bristol City are on course for another Championship season so I guess it’s just whether he feels he will achieve playing at the top level with them or whether he thinks it’s time to move.
I think he could be good enough for the Premier League, though, providing he can be consistent between the sticks.
I think Bentley is easily one of the best keepers outside the Premier League and it would be about time if he did make the step up.
The goalkeeping position has been a problem for Saints for quite some time now and I think signing Bentley would go a long way towards solving this issue.
I’ve been watching him since he was at Southend United and his game has come on so much, so I feel a move up to the top tier is the next logical step in his career really.
The Robins would surely demand a good fee for one of their star players and it would be up to Southampton to stump up the cash required.
Are these facts about Ashton Gate true or false?
Bentley has always been a goalkeeper that has been capable of making excellent eye-catching saves at crucial periods in games, but also has the potential to make some awful mistake that seem to be easier to deal with than allow to go into the goal. That, in essence, is his style and he plays on the edge at times, but when he is at his best he is a quality number one.
Southampton is a club where if he moved he would be given a chance to be the number one keeper in the Premier League. However, St Mary’s has not been the best place for goalkeepers of late with neither McCarthy or Forster fully convincing Ralph Hasenhuttl.
The keeper has a lot of the qualities that you would want from a goalkeeper in the Premier League, but his occasional errors would be under more scrutiny in the top-flight and that might be an issue for his confidence. Bentley usually recovers well from his mistakes in the Championship but there is less attention on high-profile keeper errors in the second tier.
There are moments where he looks every bit capable of being a Premier League keeper, but then times where you would suggest he might struggle. It would all come down to whether he can cut out the errors and be more consistent with his performances.