Southampton and West Ham fans have been particularly downbeat in the Transfer Tavern this season, such have been their respective side’s underwhelming starts to the new Premier League campaign.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s Saints were handsomely beaten 3-0 by Liverpool last weekend to suffer a fifth defeat of the season, in turn slipping down to 14th place in the division and just four points above the relegation zone. And things haven’t been much better in East London either as Slaven Bilic was sacked during the international break after seeing his Hammers side get off to a poor start to the campaign, to be replaced by former Everton and Manchester United manager David Moyes, who was last in management at Sunderland earlier this year, overseeing their relegation to the Championship.
Thus, both sets of supporters have been pretty despondent in the Tavern throughout the current campaign, with many of them already looking ahead to what business their side can do in the forthcoming January transfer window.
And one man the Premier League duo have been linked with in recent times is former Watford forward Odion Ighalo, who made the move to Chinese Super League side Changchun Yatai back in January to bring to an end a three-year stint at Vicarage Road.
The 28-year-old certainly proved his worth to the Hornets with 20 goals in his first season to help them win promotion to the Premier League, before 16 the campaign after to preserve their status as a top tier club.
And although things didn’t go particularly well in the last few months at Watford, there’s no denying Ighalo’s capabilities at top-flight level, and as such Southampton, West Ham, and a few other Premier League outfits are reportedly interested in bringing him back to England.
Yet the Nigeria international should opt for Southampton as his next destination over West Ham, as there are greater opportunities for first team football at St Mary’s, and they appear closer to taking that next step up after four successive top half finishes in the Premier League.
Ultimately, when one looks at the current Saints squad, there aren’t enough goals in the team. Manolo Gabbiadini made a fast start to life in England but has since tailed off, Charlie Austin is a fine finisher but his injury record is of concern, while Shane Long is a good all round forward, but not someone who is regularly going to put the ball in the back of the net.
And that is reflected in their paltry tally of just nine Premier League goals so far this term, only three other sides (two of which are in the bottom three) have scored fewer.
Thus, that lack of a prolific striker is seriously hindering Pellegrino and his side in their attempts to push on from last term’s eighth place finish. But one senses that it is only that clinical forward which is preventing them from making advances.
The rest of the side is particularly strong with the likes of Ryan Bertrand, Virgil van Dijk, Oriol Romeu, as well as many others all supremely accomplished Premier League players, to the point that they are likely to be linked with moves away in the coming transfer windows if the Saints don’t push on.
And Ighalo may well be interested in such challenge. He would arrive and arguably go straight in as the number one striker at the club based on his previous spell in England, the same cannot be said of if he were to move to West Ham, what with Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez on the books.
And with the Hammers seemingly struggling to steer their ship in the right direction since moving to the London Stadium, Southampton appears to be the more desirable destination, and as such the £6.3 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) should opt for them over a move to East London.
Southampton and West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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