Southampton are in the transfer market to sign a new no. 9 this summer with Armando Broja rejoining Chelsea after the end of his loan spell and his future still uncertain.
Ralph Hassenhutl and Co. have already made significant moves this transfer window with Gavin Bazunu, Romeo Lavia, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Joe Aribo, and Mateusz Lis being unveiled to their fans. There has been a change in the boardroom also with Manchester City’s head of youth recruitment, Joe Shields, being appointed as the new Head of Senior recruitment. His experience at a club like Manchester City wherein he played a crucial role in Pep Guardiola’s project would be a huge asset for the Saints.
As per recent reports, Southampton have identified Moussa Dembele to replace Armando Broja and partner Che Adams up top next season. The French striker has only a year left on his contract with Olympique Lyon and is evaluating his options this summer.
Southampton’s need for a new striker:
Hassenhutl’s system requires a strike partnership up-top with the Che Adams-Armando Broja duo working wonders last season. The duo contributed to 17 goals for the Saints last term and even lent a helping hand in creating goals for their teammates with 4 assists combined.
Despite the Saints’ efforts in signing Broja on a permanent deal, Chelsea remained reluctant in letting the Albanian go for cheap and Thomas Tuchel wants to assess the striker during the pre-season and use the 20-year-old to replace Romelu Lukaku. The Saints are short of options in their strikers’ department with Che Adams and Shane Long being the only strikers available.
Is Moussa Dembele the right choice?
Dembele didn’t have the best of times during his loan spell with Atletico Madrid last season. The Frenchman made just 5 appearances for Diego Simeone’s men and struggled with injuries for the majority of the season.
Despite an underwhelming season in Spain, the 25-year-old is a prolific goal scorer and has scored goals throughout his career in England, Scotland and France. Dembele recorded 15 goals and 8 assists in 54 appearances for Fulham during his time in the Championship which earned him the move to Celtic. In the Scottish Premiership, the striker was lethal and played some of his best football scoring 25 goals and assisting 15 times for the Bhoys in 53 appearances. His move to Lyon in January of 2018 saw the French striker record 53 goals and 11 assists in 106 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit.
In the right system, one thing is guaranteed from Dembele which is goals, goals and goals. This is what Hassenhutl and Southampton will need next season. Last season proved the strikers have to convert the chances created by the team and Dembele could be the right choice to shoulder this responsibility along with Che Adams. The 25-year-old’s traits and playing style would complement Adams who likes to play as a second striker than an out and out number 9.
A Sensible deal for all the parties involved
Lyon are open to letting Dembele leave for a fee around 15 million pounds which is a bargain for a player like Dembele who is yet to reach his prime years. With all other striker options being expensive, Dembele would be the right fit for Hassenhutl and the club with guaranteed playing time and being an important part of the German coach’s project at the St. Mary Stadium.
The Saints should go all out and sign Dembele before another club tries to intervene and hijack the deal. The 15 million pound price tag is a very reasonable deal considering the attacking quality the striker will bring with him. Southampton could have a serious player In their hands next season if Dembele finds his feet in the Premier League and settles in well in England.