Southampton supporters have been significantly more upbeat in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side thump Everton 4-1 at St Mary’s on Sunday to secure a fourth Premier League victory of the campaign, in turn moving back into the top half of the table.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s men went into their clash with the struggling Toffees having suffered back-to-back defeats at the hands of Liverpool and Burnley, but they produced arguably their best display of the campaign to sweep aside David Unsworth’s side. A brace from Charlie Austin as well as strikes from Dusan Tadic and Steven Davis secured a comprehensive victory for the Saints, who moved up to tenth in the Premier League table prior to the midweek round of fixtures.
Consequently, there are many happy Southampton fans in the Tavern this week, many of whom are eagerly anticipating their team’s trip to league leaders Manchester City this evening, where they will hope to be the first side to beat Pep Guardiola’s men this season.
In the meantime though, there have been some intriguing transfer rumours floating around the Tavern, not least a recent report which outlines comments from Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce, who has advised Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke to leave Anfield in January.
The 20-year-old only made the move to Merseyside back in the summer following a long association with fellow top-flight giants Chelsea, yet hasn’t quite earned the first team football he would have hoped under boss Jurgen Klopp, making just ten appearances for the Reds.
And Villa chief Bruce reckons that the England international needs to leave Anfield in January to get regular minutes under his belt, and as such Southampton should look to bring him to St Mary’s for the second half of the season.
And that’s because Pellegrino’s men (up until Sunday at least) have seriously struggled for goals and looked toothless going forward, and as such could do with a talented forward to join the striking ranks to get the goals to fire them to a fifth successive top ten finish.
Manolo Gabbiadini hit the ground running when he made the move from Napoli back in January with six goals in his first four games, but he has since added just three more in 21 appearances, and as such hasn’t started either of their last two league matches.
Shane Long also isn’t prolific enough to be relied upon, even if his all round game does cause defenders nightmares, and although Austin bagged two at the weekend, his recent injury record means he also cannot be relied upon to get the goals necessary.
Thus, they could do with another option, and Solanke could certainly give them that.
On Sunday (admittedly against a very poor Everton side), the creativity was there from the likes of Tadic, Sofiane Boufal, and Ryan Bertrand, and on this occasion there was someone like Austin in the box to score them.
But hasn’t always been the case this term, and with Solanke proving to be strong, athletic, and with an eye for goal, he could seriously help them on those days whereby things aren’t quite clicking in the final third.
And having already earned an England cap, having featured against Brazil earlier this month, the 20-year-old must clearly be on manager Gareth Southgate’s radar ahead of the World Cup this summer – that would surely be enough for anyone to give it their all and produce their best form in the second half of the campaign.
And Southampton could reap the rewards from such a move were Solanke to link up with Pellegrino’s side at St Mary’s.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!