According to a report from The Daily Mirror earlier this week, Southampton were one side keen on a late January move for Che Adams. The 22-year-old currently plays his football at Championship outfit Birmingham City and has done so since the summer of 2016, with his sensational goal-scoring efforts for the Blues this season seemingly attracting the interest of new Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
And that’s because a report earlier this week from The Daily Mirror suggested that the South Coast outfit were keen on a move for the striker as they sought the striking reinforcements needed to pull clear of the Premier League’s bottom three, only for Adams to remain at St Andrew’s beyond Thursday’s 11pm deadline.
But given Southampton’s struggles in the final third of the field, it appears that Hasenhuttl’s side may have missed a big opportunity to dispel their relegation fears for good by missing out on the 22-year-old.
Ultimately, this season has very much followed the trend set by last season at St Mary’s, what with the Saints again set for a battle against relegation, with putting the ball in the back of the net proving to be a key factor in their difficulties.
The South Coast outfit aren’t the lowest scorers in the English top-flight, but their tally of 26 goals from their 24 Premier League matches will almost certainly need big improvement between now and the end of the season if they are to fend off relegation – mainly because their tally of 41 goals against underlines their difficulties in keeping them out as well.
But in the likes of Charlie Austin, Shane Long, Michael Obafemi, and Sam Gallagher, Hasenhuttl doesn’t have a forward line that is inspiring much confidence at present given the quartet have managed only five goals between them in all competitions so far – for what it’s worth, main man Danny Ings has eight goals.
Clearly then, another accomplished striker seemed necessary in the January window especially following the departure of Manolo Gabbiadini, and after last year’s calamitous move for Guido Carrillo, luring someone in form and match-ready to St Mary’s this month appeared to be the order of the day – Birmingham’s Adams fit the bill.
The 22-year-old may have never played at Premier League level before, but he has shown throughout his time at St Andrew’s that he is a young striker very much on the up, with this season the best goal-scoring campaign of his young career to date.
And that’s because the Englishman has netted 15 times in only 29 Championship appearances for Garry Monk’s side to propel him into the division’s top five goal-scorers this term, with four goals in his last four matches underlining his excellent recent form and just how confident he is in front of goal.
Clearly, it seems that Adams is only getting better the more football he plays having bagged nine last term and seven the season before for Birmingham, and at the tender age of 22, he is surely only going to keep improving as the years go on.
But he’d also do a job for Southampton in the present as well given his confidence and form in front of goal – unlike Carrillo, who hadn’t played or scored much for Monaco prior to his move to St Mary’s, Adams would have arrived match-ready and confident to make a difference.
Yes, there has certainly been an upturn in fortunes at St Mary’s following the arrival of Hasenhuttl as manager, but when one looks at the current striking options available to the Austrian, it’s difficult to see where the goals are coming from, Ings aside, in the second half of the campaign.
And that is why failing to land Adams last month represents a big opportunity missed by the Saints, as his arrival would’ve gone some way to dispelling their relegation fears for good.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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