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Fabrizio Romano says Southampton have 'one of the best talents in his position' in their ranks
Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images

Fabrizio Romano says Southampton have 'one of the best talents in his position' in their ranks

Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap has been praised by Fabrizio Romano in wake of his maiden Germany call-up.

The 20-year-old Saints summer signing has been rewarded following a great start to the season for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men.

Southampton signed Bella-Kotchap from VfL Bochum in the summer for a reported £9million fee.

Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

The 6ft 3in ace remained on the bench for Saints’ opening Premier League match of the season, the 4-1 loss to Spurs.

Since then, he has played every minute of Southampton’s next five Premier League matches of the campaign.

Bella-Kotchap has formed an impressive centre-back partnership with Mohammed Salisu.

The youngster has represented Germany at Under-18, Under-20 and Under-21 level.

Now, Bella-Kotchap could make his first senior appearance under boss Hansi Flick this month.

Romano took to Twitter to share the news, saying the player is “one of the best talents in his position” and already “highly rated”.

The transfer insider also praised Southampton for the “smart deal” they sealed in signing Bella-Kotchap.

Germany host Hungary in Leipzig on Friday, September 23, before they take on England on Monday, September 26.

Bella-Kotchap faces competition from the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Niklas Sule and Matthias Ginter for a spot in Flick’s XI.

“Instant impact”

Following Southampton’s 2-1 win over Chelsea, Francis Benali and Jermaine Jenas praised Bella-Kotchap on BT Sport.

“He is one of five or six players that have had an instant impact,” Benali said, as transcribed by the Daily Mail.

“What we’ve been seeing is maturity beyond their years. He takes up great positions and recognises danger.”

Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images

Jenas said: “He has authority in the way he plays, how aggressive he is in the tackle and his positional sense.

“You always want one leading the way and he seems to want to take that mantle at 20 years of age.

“He played well against United too and their scouting keeps producing.”

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