According to a recent report from Sky Sports, Ralph Hasenhuttl looks set to be named the new Southampton manager. The South Coast outfit are on the lookout for their third manager in 12 months following the sacking of Mark Hughes earlier this week, with the club languishing in the bottom three of the Premier League having won just one of their opening 14 matches.
And reports suggest that ex-RB Leipzig manager Hasenhuttl is set to take over at St Mary’s, and with a new boss on the way to the club, Manolo Gabbiadini, valued at £10.8 million by Transfermarkt and having been linked with a move away in recent times, may well have a future at Southampton after all.
Ultimately, as is often the case when a new manager arrives, those players on the fringes of the first team get a second chance to impress and stake their claim for regular football, even if they weren’t regularly used by the previous boss.
And one man who certainly falls into that bracket is Italy international Gabbiadini, as the 27-year-old has started on just three occasions in the Premier League so far this season, adding to the 11 he mustered just term under a combination of Hughes and his predecessor Mauricio Pellegrino.
Thus, it was plainly obvious that the ex-Napoli forward was down the pecking order under Hughes, this all despite being Southampton’s saviour last term in netting the winner against Swansea City back in May, the match that clinched their top-flight status for this season.
In fact, Gabbiadini finished last term with five goals to his name to help the Saints narrowly avoid the drop, only to be chronically underused by Hughes in a Southampton side that have seriously struggled for goals – his lack of game time often baffled supporters.
As such, the Italian has been linked with a move away from the club in the upcoming January window, yet the change of manager, with Hasenhuttl reportedly set to come in, gives the 27-year-old an opportunity to prove his worth to the team once again, just like he did when he first arrived under Claude Puel in January 2017.
Clearly, there is a very good striker in Gabbiadini, and in a Saints side that have struggled for goals in the last 12 months or so, getting him firing could prove vital in their quest to beat the drop this term.
As such, while under Hughes it didn’t look like the Italian had much of a future at Southampton, the change of manager does alter the landscape somewhat – Hasenhuttl’s imminent arrival suggests that Gabbiadini may now have a Saints future after all.
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