Southampton supporters have been reasonably satisfied in recent times after seeing their team end a run of three successive Premier League defeats at the weekend.
Mark Hughes’ men went into their clash with local rivals Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium off the back of losses at the hands of Liverpool, Wolves, and Chelsea in their preceding three games, and thus in need of a response against the Cherries on Saturday. And while they were unable to get back to winning ways, they at least got a point from the encounter in drawing 0-0 with Eddie Howe’s side, a result which kept the Saints 16th in the Premier League table.
As such, there have been some satisfied Southampton fans up and down the country in recent times, although the fact that they failed to net for a fourth successive match won’t go unnoticed among many supporters.
And nor will the excellent goal-scoring form of striker Paco Alcacer, who was repeatedly linked with a move to St Mary’s earlier this year given his struggles at Barcelona, only for Hughes’ side to miss out on his signature and thus allow him to move to Borussia Dortmund, where he is currently scoring goals for fun.
And with the same certainly not true of Southampton, failing to land the striker is proving to be something of a big mistake from manager Hughes – a mistake which could cost the Saints their place in the Premier League.
Ultimately, the Saints seriously struggled in the final third last season in bagging just 37 goals in their 38 Premier League matches, with the club again reliant on the goals of Charlie Austin, who finished the campaign with seven goals to his name having played just 24 times in the league.
And while the arrival of Danny Ings has certainly bolstered the striking department, it’s clear that they are seriously lacking in that area of the pitch with the likes of Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini, and Shane Long all struggling for goals – it almost cost them last term, and may well cost them this time round.
And that is why 25-year-old Alcacer’s brilliant form is likely to hurt Saints fans even more, as their side were reportedly keen on the Spaniard earlier in the year in a bid to solve their goal-scoring woes, but ultimately weren’t able to get a deal over the line.
And now the Spain international is producing the goods in the Bundesliga with eight goals in just five appearances for Dortmund in all competitions, the latest of which coming in their 4-0 win over Stuttgart at the weekend to take his league tally to four in four games.
What’s more, Alcacer has only started on one occasion for Lucien Favre’s men in the Bundesliga to underline the impact he is having when on the pitch – it must hurt Hughes and Southampton as a whole to see him delivering for the German outfit, especially given their own striking issues.
And with the South Coast set for another tricky season in and around the bottom three, failing to land the 25-year-old could prove critical for Hughes’ side – it’s a failed move which could cost them their place in the Premier League.
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