What Does Next Season Hold For Armando Broja
Wednesday, 4th May 2022 10:16
Three months ago Armada Broja's stock was high and he was being linked with high profile moves with the price tag being quoted as anything between £35-50 million, however a dip in form has seen those transfer rumours greatly diminish, so what does the future hold for him.
When he arrived on loan from Chelsea no one had heard much about Armando Broja, most had to google his name to discover that he had spent the previous season on loan at Vitesse Arnhem and his Premier League experience at Chelsea amounted to a brief substitute appearance with no other games in other competitions.
His debut came in the Carabao Cup at Newport County and he scored twice in an 8-0 drubbing of the Welsh side, but was that a real gauge of his talents ?
Initially the answer was no and there were some cautious words of criticism/encouragement from Ralph Hasenhuttl.
His first four Premier League appearances came off the bench and his first start in his fifth saw him score the only goal against Leeds united at St Mary's, he followed that up in the next game against Burnley with another goal in a 2-2 draw.
He was back on the bench for three out of the next four and didn't add to his total.
Then came another burst of goals, two in three games to be exact with strikes against Brighton at home and then Palace away followed by a goal against Brentford in early January.
Now his stock was truly high and Saints fans worried about the terms of his loan deal and could Chelsea recall him and indeed sell him, with the likes of Newcastle, Arsenal & West Ham United said to be just three of the teams interested and willing to pay anywhere between £35-50 million for the 20 year old.
But little did we know that he was about to start a goal drought, in the Premier League he would notch just one goal in the next four months, that being at Tottenham Hotspur in early February a run encompassing 14 Premier League games, although he did score in the FA Cup against West Ham on 2nd March.
The problem though has been that Broja is a player where scoring is the big part of his game, if he is not scoring he is in the main not contributing, he has just one assist to his name in all competitions.
Perhaps some of this can be put down to inexperience, certainly he has not got the positional sense of Shane Long, Broja's game is in essence reactional, he needs the ball played to him and then he makes his run, usually hustling and bustling in the style of an old fashioned number 9.
But is this enough in the modern game, today's striker needs to have more in their armoury, the ability to make runs to make space for others and to create chances.
Suddenly the plaudits have stopped for Broja, one headline suggested that those clubs who had been linked with him had dodged a bullet in not being able to sign him, also it is being suggested that his direct style is not suited to the way his parent club Chelsea play, they have a style that means that they pass the ball and rely on runs being made off the ball to create space to do that.
This is not Broja's strength's, with the ball at his feet running at defenders he can be devastating, but at Premier League level, defenders can cope with that, charging through the back four is not enough just on it's own.
If Ralph Hasenhuttl has made a mistake it is that he played Broja in the starting line up for too long, he didn't take him out of the firing line, he hoped that the player would be able to play his way through.
This had consequences in that we didn't create enough chances for others, Che Adams who had quietely got on with the job in hand and not only scored goals but made space and created chances for others was left on the bench whilst Broja misfired.
It seemed that we were playing him in an attempt to convince him he should stay at St Mary's beyond this season.
That seems to have upset some in the squad, when the 3rd substitution was made against Crystal Palace on Saturday, Adam Armstrong was seen going down the tunnel, who could blame him, he is a player who will be at the club next season, whilst the likelihood is that Broja will not be, surely he should have been given a chance to show what he can do.
Back in January both Broja and Che Adams looked set to get into double figures in Premier League goals, now only Adams looks likely to, sitting on 9 goals assuming he isn't left on the bench as he has been of late.
So what does the future hold now for Armando Broja, with sanctions on Chelsea and ownership uncertain, could he be forced to spend next season at Stamford Bridge with little chance of getting a game in the first team.
Would those suitors from January still be as enthusiastic after his form since January ?
Finally would Saints themselves want him back next season, lets be blunt 6 goals in 30 appearances is not a great total, do Saints still see the potential in Armando Broja, or are they ready to walk away and look to other options next season.
Perhaps it will come down to how much they have to pay, that could be the same for any club, Chelsea might have been hoping for £35 million, but could they now struggle to get £10 million for the six goal striker, they will hope there are clubs out there willing to pay for potential .
This article seems like a complete hatchet job on the Armenian from Slough, I don't mean it to sound that way, I am trying to be objective, perhaps some things can have been done better, certainly we have persevered with him when he should have been on the bench, I also fear that our coaching staff have not been able to improve him and help him learn how to play off the ball.
When Armando Broja leaves St Mary's in a week or so it will be to an uncertain future, there will not be a shortage of offers that is for sure, but they won't be the offers that were being rumoured back in January.
Photo: Action Images
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