According to a recent report from The Sun, striker Neal Maupay could be set for a move away in this month’s transfer window. The Frenchman currently plays his football at Championship side Brentford and has done so since leaving his homeland back in 2017, with his excellent goal-scoring endeavours for the Bees seemingly attracting interest ahead of the remainder of the winter window.
And that’s because reports suggest that Aston Villa, managed by ex-Brentford boss Dean Smith, are keen on a move for the £4.5 million-rated goal machine (as per Transfermarkt), as should Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl as he targets the signings that could keep his team in the Premier League.
Ultimately, it looks set to be another season of struggle for the South Coast outfit given they are languishing in the relegation zone after 21 games of the season, having won on just three occasions in a desperate first half of the campaign.
And while the arrival of ex-Red Bull Leipzig boss Hasenhuttl has given Saints supporters some optimism ahead of the rest of the campaign, it’s clear that he can only do so much, with the playing squad, a squad which finished 17th last term, in dire need of reinforcements during the January window.
And, other than Danny Ings, it’s pretty obvious that the striking ranks are in need of serious improvement given the likes of Charlie Austin, Shane Long, and Manolo Gabbiadini simply haven’t produced the goods so far this season – while Ings has seven league goals, the aforementioned trio have just three, with Long having failed to net at all.
And if the Saints are to indeed stay up this season under Hasenhuttl, they are going to need significantly more quality in the final third of the pitch – Maupay would bring just that.
The 22-year-old may have never played in the Premier League before in his short career, but his incredibly rapid adaptation to the Championship suggests that he certainly has it in him to succeed in the top-flight having scored goals for fun in the second tier of English football, which itself is a notoriously difficult division.
The Frenchman bagged on 12 occasions last time round for Brentford in their run to ninth place under the guidance of now-Villa chief Smith, while he has reached new heights already this term with an impressive 15 goals in just 24 league games for the Bees – only Tammy Abraham and Billy Sharp have netted more in the Championship.
And with six assists this time round, added to the five he contributed last season, there is more to Maupay than just a perennial goal-scorer – he also creates opportunities for his teammates to underline his status as a quality all round striker.
And with Southampton in need of a striker like Maupay to not only put the ball in the back of the net but also create chances for others, the Saints simply must seek to join and indeed win the race for the striker – that way, Hasenhuttl might just keep them in the Premier League.
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