Southampton has witnessed a few raids on her bright stars, especially last season and we were one of those clubs who benefited, carting away one of England’s most promising defensive prospects in Calum Chambers. A few important players survived, though, but according to the Express, there is apparent interest within the Emirates to return there for Jay Rodriguez.
He was the Saints top scorer last season and a first England cap prior to the World Cup was testimony to his rise to the top of his game. An injury suffered in April against City left his anterior cruciate ligaments ruptured and he has not made a return to competitive football since. Southampton had expected him to return in December for the festive run of fixtures but a set-back suffered during his recovery will now see his spell on the sidelines further extended till February, at least.
So why exactly are we going to try to sign him this January? He’s obviously injured, and for a long time at that. We have a Theo Walcott who’s been out for nearly a year and we’ve seen how difficult it’s been for him to readjust to his old self, even if there are enough signs to believe he will, sooner than later. But Rodriguez?
He looks a decent striker, if his game last season were to be assessed. 15 Premier League goals was not reached by any Arsenal striker, besides Olivier Giroud, and that was by just one despite playing more games. A case could be made for him providing competition for the Frenchman, as he is about 3 years younger. However, there is a fellow England teammate in our side who plays ahead of him in Roy Hodgson’s squad and it makes sense to believe that Welbeck will continue to show signs of improvement as he gets more regular appearances in a center-forward role at Arsenal.
Then, there are still the persistent rumours of the possible purchase of another top class striker, Cavani and Mandzukic mostly mentioned. It will be a galaxy – with Alexis and Walcott as the halo – within which there may not quite be room for Rodriguez to fit into.
We know we need to strengthen the squad this January but a striker is remotely not within our top priority at the moment. If Southampton must be our filling station, then we should be looking at one or two of these three: Schneiderlin, Wanyama of Toby Alderweireld.
Or don’t you think so?
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