Southampton completed what should prove to be a very smart piece of business at the end of June by signing Mohamed Elyounoussi from FC Basel in a deal worth £16 million, and recent reports suggest another top attacking player could be available for a summer transfer.
Based on Elyounoussi’s impressive match-winning performance during FC Basel’s shock victory over Manchester City last season, the Southampton supporters should be feeling excited about watching their new signing in action next season.
With a record of 13 goals and 17 assists to boast from 44 appearances last season, Southampton look set to welcome a player with genuine flair and creativity into their squad, and they will need to get the best out of him next season to ensure they improve upon their sobering 2017/18 campaign.
In order to enable the Norway international to settle into life in the Premier League, Mark Hughes would be wise to sign another attacking talent who possesses both technical quality and a hard-working attitude to provide defensive cover for his full-back.
One player who matches that description is Tottenham’s Erik Lamela (valued at £18 million by Transfermarkt) and, according to the The Daily Express (via Tribal Football), Mauricio Pochettino is willing to sell the Argentine as part of a mass summer clear out.
If that report does indeed prove to be true then it could be fantastic news for a Southampton side who are crying out for further quality in the final-third.
Lamela’s versatility to play on both wings and in a number ten role would lend Hughes the opportunity to experiment with a number of combinations in order to find a system which best serves Elyounoussi’s abilities.
Elyounoussi is not the type of player to shirk defensive responsibility, but his best qualities certainly shine through when he is allowed to express himself in the final-third, so it would be a huge benefit for him to have a teammate like Lamela who is willing to track back for the team.
Hughes’ rebuild is underway at Southampton but he still has plenty of signings to make to ensure the Saints avoid slipping into a relegation battle once again next season, and signing Lamela would certainly help them take a huge step forwards in their development.
Southampton fans – thoughts? Let us know below!