Can Leicester City star Islam Slimani help Southampton thrive?
Ralph Hasenhuttl has produced a miracle to somehow lead Southampton out of the relegation zone when it looked like there was no hope. However, despite that, the Saints still need to do more to survive the 2018/19 Premier League season and thanks in part to the January window, things could get better.
Their main concern? That would be scoring goals, with only Danny Ings managing to do that so far this season but even the Liverpool loanee has struggled to find consistency. Only Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Stuart Armstrong have come close with three goals apiece so far, which has been one of the many causes of trouble.
Former Southampton striker Manolo Gabbiadini was supposed to be the answer, but he couldn’t do it and was eventually offloaded by Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Both Charlie Austin and Shane Long are options off the bench but once again neither striker has been in good form this season, with Long recently breaking a 279-day goal duck. That’s exactly why the Saints should be going after Leicester City man Islam Slimani because if there is one thing they need, it is goals.
While he is on loan at the moment, the Telegraph has revealed that Fenerbahce are willing to cut it short, which makes a move all the more possible. Because if there is one thing Slimani can do, it’s score goals. The Algerian hasn’t been at his best at the King Power Stadium but that has been mainly down to a sheer lack of game time.
Since moving to Leicester City in a €30 million deal from Sporting CP back in 2016, the 30-year-old has made only 46 appearances for the Foxes, with a large majority coming off the bench.
However, Slimani has still produced 20 goals in 46 appearances, which includes 14 in the Premier League. These are good stats for an average player but for someone who has played only over 2000 minutes for the club, it’s a great record.
The 30-year old’s physicality and movement alone make him a great buy but the fact that he’s a penalty area predator makes him valuable for Southampton. Unlike Danny Ings, Slimani will not provide pace and agility on the counter-attack. Instead, if given the time and space, Islam Slimani is a proven finisher and a gamble worth taking for Southampton.