Can Sam Gallagher Be The Next Saints Striking Sensation.
Wednesday, 22nd Apr 2015 09:15
All the talk after this weeks Premier league U21 Cup Final was about the winning goal from Sam Gallagher, is this a sign of things to come.
A year ago some would say that Sam Gallagher was ahead of where he stands now in terms of his career, after making his Premier league debut in December 2013 he was a regular on the bench, coming on 15 times and he started 3 games, he scored one goal, that against Norwich City.
But I think the fact that he has not made an appearance for the first team since says more about the strength of the squad this season when compared to last than where Sam Gallagher is as a player 12 months on.
Of course it should also be noted that Gallagher suffered an injury in pre season which kept him on the sidelines till after the New Year and that has not helped his progression.
So is Sam Gallagher now about to knock on the door of the first team again ?
I have to say that a year ago I was not overly impressed with Gallagher, yes he had a big work rate, but for me he didn't have the nous to make the runs off the ball and create openings for the ball to be played to him, I saw him as a very reactive player rather than pro active, he would wait to see where the ball went before he chased it. To be blunt he also looked a little heavy on his feet and somewhat gangly.
The big question though was whether this was due to his age as it has to be remembered that he had only turned 18 at the start of last season.
Yes there are some players who have that natural instinct at that age, Alan Shearer for one and there are other for whom it has to be coached into and don't really start to blossom till they get a little older, a good example of that is Harry Kane, this time last year he was about to turn 21 and had barely played for Spurs, all he had behind him were four loan spells where around 60 games had yielded only 14 goals, he was not seen as a great prospect, indeed Mauricio Pochettino had no interest in him and was willing to offload him.
So this time last year i have to admit I did not think that Sam Gallagher had it in him to hit the heights at St Mary's, I saw him as a good Championship striker but not Premier.
That may still be the case, but I have to admit I saw something in him that perhaps suggests that Sam Gallagher could be another Harry Kane rather than another Leon Best or David McGoldrick.
It wasn't just his wonder goal either, there was a confidence in him that wasn't there before and there was an awareness in his play that leads me to believe that he might be starting to develop that instinct to make things happen rather than sit back and wait.
Of Course there is a big difference between playing in Academy football and the Premier League, but there was just enough change in him as a player both physical and mental that leads me to believe that last season we did not see the potential come to the fore, he was just a kid being thrown on because there was no other option, into a team that wasn't playing to his strengths, perhaps the way Ronald Koeman sets out his side will suit him better.
All in all though there is hope that perhaps next season Sam Gallagher might be able to kick on, indeed perhaps he might get his chance this year, but if he does it should be remembered that he is still only 19 and still learning his trade, there are those who would throw him in because they hate Pelle, but if Gallagher fared no better they would soon turn on him, so Saints have to be careful in his development.
But if we do that and he continues to progress than perhaps he might become yet another successful product of our academy.
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