Premier League

Southampton simply must replace Italy-bound Gabbiadini with this £13.5m-rated star

Southampton supporters have been pretty despondent in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their team only muster a 0-0 draw at home to fellow Premier League strugglers Stoke City at St Mary’s on Saturday.

Mauricio Pellegrino’s men went into their clash with the Potters off the back of a 1-1 draw at Burnley in their previous league outing, thus extending their unbeaten away run to four matches. Yet the Saints weren’t able to record a first home league win since November last time out as they were unable to find a way past Paul Lambert’s Stoke, thus leaving the South Coast outfit just a point and a place above the Premier League’s bottom three with nine games of the campaign remaining.

Subsequently, there have been many frustrated Southampton fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are sincerely hoping that their side can find the victories required to keep the club in the top-flight.

In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Saints supporters to discuss, not least recent reports that striker Manolo Gabbiadini is eyeing up a summer exit, with contact having reportedly been made with Bologna over a possible move.

And while losing the Italian wouldn’t be the end of the world given his form this season, he would need replacing, and the South Coast club must seek to do just that by going after Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho in the summer.

The 21-year-old made the move to the King Power Stadium last summer after beginning his professional career at Manchester City, yet the move hasn’t yet worked out well for the Nigeria international as he has failed to net at all in the Premier League for the Foxes.

In fact, the young forward has only managed five senior goals for Claude Puel’s side in 20 appearances for the club, four of which coming in their impressive run to the last eight of the FA Cup – other than that though, it has been a struggle for Iheanacho in the Midlands.

Ultimately, he was never likely to regular dispose Jamie Vardy as the club’s number one striker, thus immediately reducing his first team chances, and when he has had the opportunity to shine off the bench in the league this term, he has failed to do so.

Nonetheless, it’s clear from his time at City that the 21-year-old is a hugely adept striker, and one who will score goals if the chances are there for him to do so.

Iheanacho managed 21 goals in 64 appearances for the Citizens, which equated to a goal every 101 minutes of action – that’s a mightily impressive record.

And in a Southampton side that have created more chances than any other side outside of the top six this season (278), he’d surely re-discover that form which earned him a big money move to Leicester last year – for the record, the Foxes have created just 211 chances so far.

The Saints were linked with Iheanacho during the summer before the 2015/16 Premier League champions secured a deal, but with things difficult for the Nigeria international at the King Power Stadium, the South Coast club could well seek to reignite their interest.

And with Gabbiadini seemingly Italy-bound, reignite their interest they must in the £13.5 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) this summer.

Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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