Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuutl has started to reshape his squad at St Mary’s and already has his first signing in the bag. Earlier this month the club confirmed they had signed Mali international Moussa Djenepo, from Standard Liege.
The midfielder scored seven and provided three assists from 25 league games last season in the Belgium top-flight. And it is goals that Hasenhuutl is targeting. The Austrian has placed a bid for Birmingham striker Che Adams, according to a report in The Telegraph. The 22-year-old scored 22 and provided five assists in his 46 league matches last season.
If it is goals Hasenhuutl is after, and all indications suggest he is, then a cheap option up-front could be Daniel Sturridge. The forward, who is valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt has left Liverpool after reaching the end of his contract. It is difficult to assess his record over the past few seasons because he has been out of the team, either due to injury or more recently being pushed out by better players at the club.
However, the last time he had a good run in the team in the 2013/14 season, Sturridge scored 21 goals in 29 league games. Since then he has only achieved playing in 20 matches or more on one occasion. As a free agent, the Englishman could be a good signing for Saints.
Hasenhuutl would have noticed Southampton finished 15th out of 20 teams for goals scored in the Premier League last season, and the players he has already identified he would hope could come in and make a difference in the goals scored column.
The Austrian can look to the strikers already at the club and see they failed to deliver last season. Danny Ings, Charlie Austin, and Shane Long only scored 14 league goals combined. The lack of goals was a big factor in Southampton finishing with a -20 goal difference last term.
The website Spotrac state Austin is Southampton’s joint second-highest earner and is paid a salary of £70,000 per week. That sum for a player that scored two league goals in 25 league appearances last season. The site claims Long isn’t too far behind and state he earns £60,000 per week.
Southampton may be better off getting Austin and Long off the wage bill and replacing them with Sturridge, as they did not prove they deserve to still be on those wages.