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Southampton have announced the signing of AS Monaco striker Guido Carrillo. A deal worth £19m has been completed and the player is officially Saints’ No.9 now. From what we have seen so far, Carrillo seems like a solid addition.
After starting the new season on a rather lukewarm note, Southampton have failed to do anything noteworthy throughout the season so far. In fact, the likes of Brighton, Newcastle, Burnley and Watford have endured more exciting times. Despite having a strong team on paper, the club has lost a lot of points. To put things into perspective, Southampton are without a win in their last 11 Premier League games.
As a result of that, the club has dropped down to 18th place in the table and are in danger of getting relegated. In a season where managers are getting fired left, right and centre, it became imperative for Mauricio Pellegrino to rectify the situation and bring in a player of Carrillo’s calibre. Now that he’s done it, this could be a step in the right direction. Having played mainly as a substitute for the French giants this season, it is not surprising that the player was keen on moving to a struggling Saints side.
Southampton have the likes of Shane Long, Charlie Austin and Manolo Gabbiadini as recognised options up front but none of them have made a strong impact. One might argue that Carrillo’s tally of 4 goals this season do not seem all that impressive but one must note that he managed to get them despite spending just 552 minutes on the field.
Carrillo will undoubtedly be utilised as the central striker by Pellegrino, preferably in a 4-2-3-1 formation. He will have full-backs, Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand to deliver some good passes into the box but it remains to be seen how he partners with the creative trio that would be deployed behind him.
To be fair, Gabbiadini has painfully been mismanaged by Pellegrino this season and even when he’s played, he’s never received adequate support from the creative players.
However, James Ward-Prowse might work well with Carrillo. The Monaco star is aerially strong, which is likely to benefit the Southampton man since he is quite strong at providing some well-timed crosses. Meanwhile, Dusan Tadic has been in excellent form this term and it will be interesting to see how he performs, with the towering striker leading the line.