Southampton supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their side suffer a fifth Premier League defeat of the season at the weekend.
Mark Hughes’ men went into their clash with high-flying Chelsea at St Mary’s off the back of beating Everton in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, yet having lost each of their preceding two league games. And the Saints have now lost three on the spin in the league after going down 3-0 at home to Maurizio Sarri’s Blues, with goals from Eden Hazard, Ross Barkley, and Alvaro Morata sealing a routine success for the visitors, at the same time increasing the pressure on Southampton boss Hughes.
As such, there have been many frustrated Saints fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be wondering how things are going to turnaround at St Mary’s, and indeed whether Hughes is the man to do just that.
And if the Southampton boss does indeed want to keep his job at the South Coast outfit, there is no doubt that he needs to find a way to get the best out of striker Manolo Gabbiadini, valued at £10.8 million by Transfermarkt.
Ultimately, the Saints have been pretty poor in front of goal for some time now, bagging just 37 goals in their 38 Premier League matches last term, and indeed just six so far from their eight matches this time round.
Yet in the likes of Charlie Austin, Danny Ings, Shane Long, and indeed Gabbiadini, there should be enough goals to keep the Saints afloat – but the latter of the four simply isn’t getting much of a look-in, for one reason or another.
Italy international Gabbiadini only mustered 11 league starts for the Saints last term under a combination of Hughes and former boss Mauricio Pellegrino, yet he still finished the season with five goals to his name, including the winner against Swansea City to keep them in the Premier League.
And alongside his incredible start to life in English football back at the early months of 2017, in which he scored six goals in his first four games, it’s clear that there is a quality striker in Gabbiadini – yet messrs Pellegrino and Hughes haven’t been able to unlock that.
And with the Saints clearly set for another relegation battle as things stand, Hughes needs to find a way of getting the very best out of the Italian, as failure to do so could not only cost the South Coast outfit in their battle against the drop, but it could also cost Hughes his job at St Mary’s.
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