One of the surprise stars of the World Cup so far has been the Colombian playmaker Juan Fernando Quintero. The Porto-owned attacker, who is currently on loan at River Plate, has been excellent for Colombia in their opening two fixtures. Stepping in for James Rodriguez in the first game he scored Colombia’s goal with a clever free-kick against Senegal. He then helped run the show as Colombia thrashed Poland 3-0 in their second game, with a delightful assist for Radamel Falcao’s goal.
He is, of course, a player whose name will be recognised by many Premier League fans. Especially those at Southampton. In 2015, it seemed as though the Saints were set to secure a move for the player. It was reported by the Daily Mail in January 2015 and then again in November that year by The Mirror that Southampton were keen on the £28.3 million-valued star.
Then Saints boss Ronald Koeman soon shot down the rumours, telling Sky Sports the club would not be bringing in new players in January.
But, looking back now, Southampton will now doubt wish Quintero was at St Mary’s.
Although his form for Colombia has come as something of a surprise. The 25-year-old could not buy a game at Porto and had a poor loan spell at Rennes in 2015-16. A spell back home at Independiente Medellin seemingly reinvigorated the player and he is currently with River Plate.
Now being linked with Real Madrid by AS, the diminutive star is proving one of the World Cup’s breakout players.
With River Plate holding a €5 million (£4.4m) buy-out clause for the player, perhaps Southampton should be interested again? Quintero could become a summer bargain.