According to a recent report from The Sun, Southampton have joined the January race for striker Jean-Kevin Augustin. The 21-year-old currently plays his football in Germany with Red Bull Leipzig and has done so since leaving Paris Saint-Germain back in 2017, although struggles for regular game time under Ralf Rangnick this season has called his future at the club into question.
And reports suggest that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton have joined the likes of Everton and Wolves in pursuit of the £22.5 million-rated sharp shooter (as per Transfermarkt), who could be the man to steer the Saints to safety were Hasenhuttl to seal a reunion with Augustin on the South Coast.
Ultimately, it was current Saints boss Hasenhuttl who lured the 21-year-old to RB Leipzig back in the summer of 2017 as he sought the improvements needed to help take his side even further in the 2017/18 campaign – this all after finishing second in the Bundesliga in 2016/17, and thus qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League.
And France Under-21 international Augustin certainly lived up to expectations with 12 goals and six assists in all competitions for Hasenhuttl’s side that term in their run to sixth place in the division, and while he has still managed eight goals this time round under new boss Rangnick, he has started just three times in the league to suggest that his future may be away from the club.
And with Southampton clearly in need of improvements at the sharp end of the pitch, it makes complete sense for Hasenhuttl to seek a reunion with the 21-year-old, as doing so might well be enough to keep the Saints in the Premier League.
Clearly, Southampton’s biggest problem in the last 18 months or so has been their distinct lack of goals, with the South Coast outfit netting just 37 times in their 38 league games last term in their run to 17th place in the table, while they have just 23 this term to suggest that it could be a struggle once again.
And while Danny Ings deserves credit for bagging eight times for the club in all competitions, the rest of the striking options need to have a look at themselves as the trio of Charlie Austin, Shane Long, and Michael Obafemi have only five goals between them – the sale of Manolo Gabbiadini earlier this month will only increase the pressure on their shoulders.
And with Ings and Obafemi struggling with injury at present, Austin suspended, and Long struggling his way through their FA Cup replay defeat to Derby County on Wednesday night, time appears to be of the essence for Hasenhuttl when it comes to striking reinforcements – a deal for Augustin needs completing fast.
And given just how much the Austrian got out of the 21-year-old during their time together at Leipzig, alongside Southampton’s dire need for improvements in the final third, Augustin might just get the goals Southampton need to stay in the Premier League.
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