The team from the south of England, Southampton was among the most active teams on the transfer market this summer. Their manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said the team aims to easily finish in the middle of the table this season. So first they freed up space by selling a few players and then the new reinforcements were introduced to the team.
The transfer of Danny Ings to Aston Villa made a lot of noise in England and in all Europe. The club from Birmingham paid Southampton 30,000,000 pounds for his transfer, which is about 35,000,000 euros, since he had another year of contract with the Saints. An official statement from Aston Villa states that the agreement was reached for three seasons. This was great move from Southampton board as Ings was in good form and he had only one year left of the contract with Southampton and perhaps it is the best time to sell the player and for a fair price.
Jannik Vestergard was transferred to Leicester, Mario Lemina to Nice and it was time for Southampton to spend some money. And they spent very wise.
The Saints were expected to go in search of the striker after Danny Ings moved to Aston Villa and an obvious solution was found in Adam Armstrong from Blackburn. The young England international started his career in Newcastle, and played on loan at Coventry, Barnsley, Bolton and Blackburn before signing a permanent contract with Rovers in 2018. Armstrong scored 28 goals in 40 games in the Championship last season, he was second on the list of scorers. The 24 years old striker will have to replace Danny Ings and it will be very difficult task. The Saints bought him for around 17 million euros and the striker said that it was dream comes true for him.
Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said “He will bring a lot of qualities to our team and he gives us another good option in attack, which will be important for us”, and he was right as the young striker scored in his debut in Premier League against Everton on Goodison Park in the first round of the season.
Armstrong’s partner in the attacking line will be Scottish striker Che Adams. He joined Southampton in 2019 from Birmingham. Last season in 36 appearances for the team he scored 9 goals and made 5 assists. Adams already made his first assist of the season in the match against Everton as he assisted to Armstrong in a 3:1 defeat. But it is important that the 2 strikers are already starting to complement each other on the pitch, and it is expected throughout the season this attacking duo to develop relationship and playing style which can bring the team more goals and possibly more wins.
We shouldn’t go far back in history to see how Southampton found a striker in the lower leagues and develop him in a world class striker. Rickie Lambert was among the top goal scorers in English League Two for several years before he joined The Saints from Bristol Rovers and later became club’s legend. He raised his game in Southampton to another level and he helped the team to enter Premier League even from League One. Both Che Adams and Adam Armstrong came to Southampton from lower ranked league the Championship and it will be interesting to follow their development and to see if they can become new Rickie Lambert.
Southampton also has some young strikers that in the future can make some impact. Michael Obafemi (21) is still in the club but he will have to work his way to the first squad and perhaps he will get some chance to play this season in some Cup match. Dan N’lundulu (22) is on loan to Lincoln City and he also has to work a lot if he wants to return to Southampton and to be competitive for the first squad.
It is obvious that this season the duo Armstrong – Adams will be first option in the attack for Southampton and we can’t wait to see if they will deliver.