Premier League

What does the future hold for Gabbiadini at Southampton?

What does the future hold for Gabbiadini at Southampton?

Southampton just about managed to get a centre-forward through the door when Danny Ings arrived from Liverpool on deadline day on a loan deal that will become a permanent next summer, as confirmed by the club’s official website.

Manager Mark Hughes would have gone into the transfer window with up front being one of the main areas of the squad that he believed needed strengthening.

Southampton’s strikeforce last season was underwhelming and a large reason as to why they found themselves in a relegation battle.

But with Ings’ arrival at St. Mary’s, should he be able to stay fit, the 26-year-old could be the answer to Hughes’ goal-scoring dilemma.

The signing of Ings, however, may not be good news for everyone at Southampton.

Manolo Gabbiadini, for example, could now be sweating on his Saints’ future, as a result.

£10.8m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Gabbiadini had been linked with a return back to Serie A (via CalcioMercato) and, while that is still possible with the transfer window still open across the rest of Europe, the Italian currently finds himself in a tricky situation.

Gabbiadini set the Premier League alight after he arrived from Napoli in the January of 2017, but things have only gone downhill for him with his form having dipped dramatically last season.

The 26-year-old’s lack of efficiency in front of goal saw him reduced to playing a substitute role and, if it were not for Charlie Austin’s fitness, he could have seen even less game time.

With Ings now at Hughes’ disposal, as well as Austin, Gabbiadini is likely to find it difficult getting back into Southampton’s starting XI.

Gabbiadini’s best position is up front, but the Italy international is also able to play from the right-hand side, which could be something Hughes experiments with.

The former Stoke City boss is not exactly blessed with a host of attacking options, and Gabbiadini’s capable left foot and overall footwork with the ball could provide Southampton with a viable threat off the right.

Gabbiadini, though, still faces a tough challenge of becoming a regular starter again. Therefore, it would not be a surprise to see the striker either leave the club before September or in next year’s January transfer window.

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