Why Southampton should offload Manolo Gabbiadini in January
According to Sky Sports, Southampton’s Manolo Gabbiadini has attracted interest from Italian clubs Bologna and Fiorentina ahead of the January transfer window.
The 27-year-old Italian international made his move to the south coast in January 2017 for a whopping £14.6million and had a bright start to life in the Premier League, scoring 6 goals in his first four games. However, he has managed to find the net on only six occasions thereafter, under four different managers.
Gabbiadini made four starts under former manager Mark Hughes in the Premier League this season but the arrival of Ralph Hasenhuttl has seen him fall out of favour. The 27-year-old made a substitute appearance in the 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City and was omitted from the match squads in the victories against Arsenal and Huddersfield Town.
Hasenhuttl has preferred Danny Ings in the starting eleven, with Michael Obafemi on the bench and has found it difficult to accommodate Gabbiadini in his 3-4-2-1 formation. This is a clear indication that the Italian’s lacklustre spell at the south coast is reaching its fag end.
The failure of the attackers to deliver the goods was one of the major causes of Southampton’s undoing under Mark Hughes. While Danny Ings did come up with the occasional goal or two, Gabbiadini along with Charlie Austin and Shane Long looked largely ineffective under Hughes’ philosophy.
However, Hasenhuttl has led Southampton’s mini-resurgence in the Premier League over his short stay at the club, helping the Saints climb out of the relegation zone. There is still a lot of work to be done but it has to be acknowledged that the new manager has taken a few steps in the right direction.
Coming back to Gabbiadini, the Italian is currently one of the most expensive and high-profile players in Southampton’s ranks. However, he has found it tough to acclimatise to the rough and tough physical nature of the Premier League.
He is a very good player both in terms of technical abilities and tactical awareness but his lack of upper body strength has not allowed him to replicate his Serie A heroics at Southampton. At times, he has been outmuscled far too easily by the opposition, which in turn hasn’t allowed him to play his natural game and showcase his talents.
As things stand, the Italian is a glaring misfit for Hasenhuttl’s system on the south coast and a move away from the St. Mary’s would be a win-win situation for all parties involved. Even after a lacklustre spell, Gabbiadini would command a decent fee and it would be a good idea for the Saints to cash in on one of their high-profile underperforming stars.
Southampton need to bring in some reinforcements in January to bolster the attack and they can fund a move for a new player by offloading Gabbiadini to one of the aforementioned Serie A clubs. It would not only help the Italian to resurrect his faltering career but it would also reduce the club’s wage bills.