Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl will be patient with new signing Che Adams, as the young striker continues to find his feet in the Premier League, via the Daily Echo.
The former Birmingham forward enjoyed a promising pre-season with Saints, finding the net three times for his new employers, but has failed to open his account in the Premier League during the club’s opening two league fixtures against Burnley and Liverpool.
The 23-year-old, who signed for Saints for £15m this summer, missed a good chance against the Reds last weekend, instead heading over from close-range.
He also missed a decent chance against Burnley the week prior, arrowing a shot wide at the back post following a perfectly-whipped cross from full-back Yan Valery.
Hasenhuttl is prepared to give his new forward time to settle, though, and has been happy with the ex-Sheffield United forward’s performances so far.
“If he wouldn’t have a chance so far or show that he can help us it would be more difficult for me to count on him,” said the Southampton manager, per Daily Echo.
“The last two games he had chances. Against Burnley after two or three minutes and against Liverpool and also a few very good scenes where he was important for the team.
“It’s normal you need a little bit of time to adapt to Premier League football but he has all the things he needs and that’s why I’m very positive with him and his team-mates like him very much,” added the 51-year-old.
Still, despite drawing a blank so far, Adams is averaging the most shots per game (2, per WhoScored) out of anyone in the Saints squad at the moment, which suggests he is getting into the right areas. Indeed, he’s also second in terms of dribbles over the same period (1) and has been dispossessed less than the likes of Danny Ings and Michael Obafemi, so is clearly having an impact on the overall attacking play.
Furthermore, teammate Angus Gunn told the Daily Echo during pre-season that 23-year-old would be a ‘huge’ player for the club and James Beattie – who worked with him at Birmingham – said he could become a ‘folk hero’ on the South Coast, so writing him off after two games would be far too premature.
As touched on by Hasenhuttl, Adams is engineering opportunities and coming close to scoring, he’s just found it hard to convert them.
This will, of course, become a problem if it persists, however it is still extremely early days and when he does get on the scoresheet, his confidence will be drastically lifted which in turn will hopefully help him in those situations in front of goal. Indeed, the raw numbers are there.
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