Please log in or register. Registered visitors get fewer ads.
Dembele Once Again Linked With Saints But Armstrong Set To Stay
Friday, 29th Jul 2022 09:05

Ralph Hasenhuttl has publicly stated that he wanted to sign two strikers in the transfer window and he is half way there with the signing of Sékou Mara, but manager is keen to increase his striking options not decrease them.

Last season Saints effectively had four options going forward, Che Adams, Shane Long, new signing Adam Armstrong and loan signing Armando Broja.

That was reduced down to two with Long leaving the club after 8 years and Broja after his loan spell ended.

That has left Saints supporters worried about where the goals will come from next season, that has been placated a little with the arrival of Sékou Mara, but his is only just turning 20 and like Broja he has undoubted talent but it is raw.

The signing of Joe Ariba also offer an attacking option with the former Glasgow Rangers man able to play as an attacking midfielder or as a second striker, so in many respects we are back to where we were a year ago in the striking department.

If that is the case then Ralph seems comfortable, Che Adams is a steady performer who will get you a reasonable amount of goals for a second striker as well as assists, but we need the main striker to get into double figures.

That didn't happen last season, Broja despite a promising spell in the 2nd quarter of the season did not live up to his billing in the second half and only scored twice after Xmas in the Premier League.

Adam Armstrong was a disappointment, he started the season well by scoring on the opening day at Everton, but would only score one more goal although it was a stunning strike against Villa that gave us all three points.

In truth Armstrong was not as bad as some would have you believe, in the first quarter of a season he looked to be forming a good partnership with Adams, but although he was coming close, he just couldn't seem to go on a goalscoring run.

So his demise as a first choice striker was not so much his own form, but the rise of Broja's, in truth Armstrong should have got more of a chance in the final third of the season, but Hasenhuttl persevered with Broja even when it was clear he needed to be taken out of the firing line.

Whether this was a ploy to try and convince the Albanian from Slough that his future lay with Saints we will perhaps never know, what we do know though is that the goals did not flow for Broja and Armstrong never got the chance to show what he can do.

But Adam Armstrong has not complained and he has worked hard, he has looked good in preseason and scored twice and it could be that he is now ready to kick on.

Last season I think his problem was that he found it hard to adjust to the pace of the Premier League, he was taking an extra touch and not getting his shot away, that was the case away at Newcastle where he could have scored, but luckily before he shot he was fouled for a penalty and James Ward Prowse scored from the spot kick.

Likwise away to Manchester City he was right through and brought down, a penalty was avoided, VAR seemed to show he was fouled, but the referee's original decision was still reversed.

Armstrong was then snatching too much at chances and struggling and up stepped Broja.

But now he seems to be back on form, OK it is only friendly matches, but for strikers it is a confidence thing and they like to put runs together, hopefully the run can continue. Certainly Ralph seems to be thinking he can kick on in his second season.

“I think this is the most important season (second season) because when you are coming the first year it is always tough.

“This season he should get more chances to play and chances to score.”

But although he would perhaps be comfortable with the options he has got and he will be looking at Armstrong to play more and certainly score more, Ralph Hasenhuttl has the money to spend and it looks like there will be another striker on the cards, Moussa Dembele.

The whispers are growing again about Dembele, at 25 he is entering what should be his peak years, but he has taken time to get there and his 19 goals for Olympique Lyon last season have thrust him back into the spotlight again.

If Saints don't get him or indeed another striker then I am confident that we can improve on last season's goal total of 43, which although not great was far from the worse in the division, in fact it was 13th best whereas our defence was 18th best, so the real issue was not up front but at the back.

We need our strikers to net 20 goals + between them rather than the 16 that the quartet from last season managed in the Premier League, surely that should be achievable with what we have got now, but an experienced striker would be a help and it seems that Ralph thinks he has improved the defence and now he is focussing on attack.

He could be right, the only known scorer at Premier League level is Che Adams, the rest including Joe Aribo merely have the potential to score at this moment in time, so it might not be before the Premier League season starts, but by the end of this transfer window we might yet see another striker in the fold.

Photo: Action Images



Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.



felly1 added 09:59 - Jul 29
I think our attack is more of a priority than our defence.
We dominated an awful lot of first half's last season and our attackers failed to capitalise on chances created.
This in turn put more pressure on our defence to hold out when the opposition scented blood due to our gun ho tactics playing 4222 and the defence were often completely exposed and outnumbered.
Hence why Ralph may be using 5 at the back this season to counter this weakness.
For me Salisu and Perrau improve our defence.
Whilst Armstrong was a massive downgrade compared to Ings.
Broja for the great start faded as you point out and although I think he could have been a great player for us as he matured, ultimately he's a Chelsea player.
Please let's bring Dembele in and gamble on the big wage and fee as he has a very good goals to games ratio.
1

SaintNick added 10:08 - Jul 29
Most would say that attack should be a priority over defence, but it isnt so clean cut, we had the 13th best goals for total, but 17th worst defence, you could say that our leaking of goals also put pressure on the attack to score. we Scored more than Brighton, yet they finished 9th because they let in 23 goals less than us, If we take that benchmark then it is a lot easier reduce the goals tally by say 12 goals than find an attacker who can get that number.
0

WestSussexSaint added 10:50 - Jul 29
I think Sport Republic and the club hierarchy have done some good business to date. Bolstering the defence and the change in formation should give a strong platform for the attacking players to play with more freedom. I think Aribo is the game changer as a player who has a few goals but importantly genuine creativity. So with the 3 strikers we have I do think we have more goals in the forwards than last season. Getting Dembele on board would be the Cherry and icing on the cake and would potentially elevate the team to go for the top 10 finish rather than the 10-17 places.

Getting Dembele would then give Ralph no more excuses if the performances continue like the last 3 months of last season.
4

Toussaint added 11:09 - Jul 29
Definitely still need a bully up front , especially for Armstrong he needs a big striker to play off to be that fox in the box
Dembele or Bereton Diaz or the Austrian striker could be perfect for the role and then Mara and Adams can back them up and chip in with a few goals
With 5 subs this season the game will be different
0

TeamCortese added 11:10 - Jul 29
I completely agree with felly1 and WestSussexSaint.

One more thing to add is that if the move for Dembele works out we could potentially get a decent resell value as he's the around the same age as Adam Armstrong.

Also, think we need another creative midfielder longer-term to replace Armstrong (as he's getting on) and to a lesser extent Romeu. For me, Tino Anjorin would be a good option. I would like to get Eberechi Eze instead but he'll be too expensive for our club's price point since he's got EPL experience.
0

lemmsy added 11:13 - Jul 29
Tend to agree mostly with West Sussex saint .
I think although we’ve lost broja those goals could be covered by an improving Adam Armstrong, goals & more chances from aribo, a few more goals from Stu Armstrong.On the possible downside Jwp won’t necessarily score as many this season.Obviously I hope he does & some but last season was exceptional & no guaranteed this time.Another top forward really would be great but does dembele fit the profile?
2

lemmsy added 11:13 - Jul 29
Tend to agree mostly with West Sussex saint .
I think although we’ve lost broja those goals could be covered by an improving Adam Armstrong, goals & more chances from aribo, a few more goals from Stu Armstrong.On the possible downside Jwp won’t necessarily score as many this season.Obviously I hope he does & some but last season was exceptional & no guaranteed this time.Another top forward really would be great but does dembele fit the profile?
0


You need to login in order to post your comments

Blogs 31 bloggers

The U'sual Ramblings #3 by wessex_exile
When Saturday Comes #36 by wessex_exile

Southampton Polls

About Us Contact Us Terms & Conditions Privacy Cookies Advertising
© FansNetwork 2022