Premier League

Forget Carrillo: Southampton must instead launch an audacious move for this £16.2m-rated ace

Southampton supporters have been pretty downbeat in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their team let slip a two-goal lead to end up drawing 2-2 away at Watford in the Premier League on Saturday, thus increasing the pressure on under-fire manager Mauricio Pellegrino.

The former Alaves chief only took over at St Mary’s during the summer but has so far overseen just four Premier League victories in 23 matches, leaving the Saints very much in a relegation dogfight heading into the second half of the season. And his cause didn’t get much better over the weekend as, although they powered into a 2-0 lead thanks to James Ward-Prowse’s brace, goals from Andre Gray and Abdoulaye Doucoure, the second a hugely controversial one, in the second half sealed a point for Marco Silva’s side, and thus extended Southampton’s winless league run to ten matches.

Consequently, there have been many despondent Saints fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are sincerely hoping their side can bring in reinforcements between now and the end of the January window, as failure to do so could plunge them further into relegation trouble.

And they may well be close to adding to their ranks as reports suggest that the club are interested in Monaco forward Guido Carrillo, whose future at the Stade Louis II has been subject of speculation for a while now given his lack of first team football under Leonardo Jardim.

And while the 26-year-old knows Pellegrino from their time at Estudiantes, the Saints should forget about a move for the Argentine, and instead focus their efforts on an audacious move for West Ham’s Javier Hernandez, another player who could be on his way out this month.

The Mexico record-scorer hasn’t quite had the desired effect at the London Stadium this season following his move from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, but with Southampton in dire need of goals, and arguably someone proven at this level, the 29-year-old is the man to solve their striking woes.

Ultimately, there aren’t many better in the Premier League, as has been evidenced during his time at Manchester United and indeed at West Ham, in the six-yard box than Hernandez, who more often than not in that position will hit the back of the net.

The issue the 29-year-old has had with the Hammers this term is finding a system for him to flourish in, whether it’s up top on his own or alongside someone like Andy Carroll, and the lack of chances they have created for him – they have created just 171 in their 23 Premier League games so far.

Contrast that to Southampton, and it’s clear that the Mexico international could well be the man they are missing, as the Saints have created 47 more opportunities than the East London outfit, with their tally of 218 the most of any team outside of the division’s top six.

Thus, all that appears to be missing is someone to put the ball in the back of the net, and when one looks at the other options at Pellegrino’s disposal, Hernandez could well form quite a striking partnership, be it with the tenacious and strong Shane Long, or Manolo Gabbiadini were he to not leave the club this month.

And it’s those struggles to fit Hernandez into an effective system which has proven problematic at West Ham. Yet get him playing up top with someone in a team creating chances, as Southampton appear to be doing, and he could rediscover his goal-scoring touch.

So while Carrillo has the added bonus of working under Pellegrino before, Hernandez has the added bonus of scoring goals at this level, and seeming to be the sort of player the Saints are missing the most.

As such, Pellegrino should forget about a move for Carrillo and instead launch an audacious bid for £16.2 million-rated Hernandez (as per Transfermarkt).

Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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