Manchester United should be keeping an eye on Southampton's Armel Bella-Kotchap

Manchester United should be keeping an eye on Southampton centre-back Armel Bella-Kotchap who has made an impressive start to life in the Premier League.

The Saints signed the 20-year-old from Bundesliga side Bochum for £8.6m only three months ago.

But Bella-Kotchap has made a seamless transition to life in English football and his eye-catching form in the Premier League has resulted in him being called-up to the senior Germany national team for the first time.

The Germany Under-21 international played 22 times in the German top-flight last season, and he’s quickly established himself as a crowd favourite at the St Mary’s Stadium.

Manchester United should be keeping an eye on Armel Bella-Kotchap

Erik ten Hag may have settled on Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez as his current first-choice centre-back partnership, but Bella-Kotchap looks very much a player for the future.

Judging him off just six Premier League games may seem premature, but the early signs suggest he’s only going to get better and better.

Being called-up to the German national side is an indicator of the pedigree and standing he already has in European football.

According to Fbref, Southampton’s number 37 ranks third in the Premier League when it comes to interceptions (19).

Photo by Gustavo Pantano/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

He also sits in the top six for the number of clearances (43).

After being on the bench for the opening day 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, Bella-Kotchap has helped tighten up the Saints backline.

The German impressed against Manchester United and Chelsea, showcasing his pace and ability to sniff out danger.

World Cup winner Varane turns 30 in April and the Red Devils should be already be putting plans in place to identify the former Real Madrid man’s long-term successor.

Manchester United’s recruitment simply has to get better and beating Europe’s other top sides to signing gems is an area that needs urgent improvement.

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Bella-Kotchap’s start to life in the Premier League wouldn’t have gone unnoticed when Europe’s top clubs have had the chance to gaze over the young German.

Southampton look to have signed yet another superstar in waiting and with four years left to run on his contract, the Saints will demand a huge price which is only likely to grow for Bella-Kotchap.

There maybe other priorities when it comes to identifying our next transfer targets, but Bella-Kotchap looks a star in waiting and Manchester United have to be in the race to sign a starlet who could rapidly become one of the most sought after prospects in European football.

What better mentor could the German have than the four-time Champions League winner Varane.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.