It was reported earlier in the year that Southampton were keen on signing Rob Dickie from Oxford United and after his impressive start to the 2020/21 campaign, it could be argued that they may regret not acting on that reported interest.
The centre-back eventually ended up joining Championship side QPR, where he has enjoyed an excellent start to life with the Hoops, having averaged a very solid 6.96 rating across his 10 appearances in the second division thus far (per WhoScored).
Mark Warburton’s side were able to sign the 24-year-old for just £2.43 million, suggesting that it could have been a bargain deal for the Saints if they had managed to bring him to the South Coast.
During his time with Oxford United, Dickie was heavily praised by manager Karl Robinson, who said:
“I know he’s quick, I know he’s talented, I know he’s great in the air, but I need to see what he’s like when he’s on the floor and see how he stands up. In the second half, I thought Rob Dickie was magnificent.” (per Oxford Mail)
Whilst the centre-backs at Southampton have impressed this season, with Jan Bednarek and Jannik Vestergaard two of the club’s best-performers in the Premier League so far this season, Dickie could have been an excellent back-up option in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
At just 24-years-old, you would imagine that he still has a lot of room for improvement in his game, so he could have been one for the future at the Saints.
WhoScored describes the defender’s strengths as passing, ball interception and blocking the ball, suggesting that he could have done a job as a ball-playing centre-back at the South Coast club.
The deal to sign him for so cheap could be compared to the Saints’ signing of Jose Fonte back in 2010, with the Portuguese centre-back joining from Crystal Palace for just £1.26 million, before going on to make 286 appearances for the Saints in a seven-year spell at the club.
It can be certainly argued that after an impressive start to life at QPR, the Saints may regret not taking a chance on Dickie, especially when he was available for less than £3 million.