Manolo Gabbiadini has signed for Southampton for £17 million. The Italian signs from Napoli after an indifferent spell at the Stadio San Paulo, which saw him score only 15 goals in 55 games for the Italian club. He had previously impressed at Atalanta and Sampdoria, before moving to Napoli, where has a reasonably less successful time.
Gabbiadini will now look to put behind his failures at Napoli and start afresh at Southampton, who could give him a new lease to life. The Saints are currently lacking a centre-forward of class following Graziano Pelle’s move to China. The likes of Shane Long, Jay Rodriquez and Charlie Austin have been deployed there this season and all of them have failed to make a permanent mark as the Saints struggle in the Premier League.
At Napoli, Gabbiadini started off smoothly but later played only second fiddle to star Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain. Even after the star’s move to Juventus in the summer, Gabbiadini had been unable to establish himself as a starter for the Partenopei.
This season as well, he had struggled for form in the first half of the season and was mainly used as a substitute by head coach Maurizio Sarri, who time and again vented out his frustrations at the Italian striker’s failure to score goals, despite given chances.
He was eventually demoted to the bench in favour of other players such as Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens. Thus leading to rumours of him departing the club. Several Premier League clubs including Everton and Chelsea were interested in the striker, but Southampton have stolen a march from their rivals by sealing a deal for him and they will be hoping that it’s one that pays dividends.
Gabbiadini can look forward to a bright future at the St. Mary’s, where there aren’t many top strikers at the moment. He will undoubtedly take some time to adjust to the rigours of the Premier League, but once he acclimatizes to the needs and the demands of the league, he can be a top goal striker in the mould of a goal poacher par excellence.
He has been fairly unlucky at Napoli, due to the presence of superior strikers or players in better form. At Southampton, he can expect a warm welcome from the Saints fans and can go on to become a real important player for them over the course of this season and a few more seasons to come.
Southampton are currently in 12th place and could do with Gabbiadini’s talents as they look to climb up the Premier League table in what has been a disappointing season for them so far. His goals could propel them up the table and that’s something the Saints need desperately. He could be a success for them as long as he receives the right kind of service from the likes of Nathan Redmond and Dusan Tadic.