Gabbiadini’s former teammate says Southampton striker can play for Real Madrid

According to reports in the Daily Star, Watford striker Stefano Okaka says that in-form Southampton striker Manolo Gabbiadini is good enough to play for Real Madrid should he maintain his current goalscoring form.

Okaka played alongside Gabbiadini during the duo’s time at Sampdoria, and isn’t surprised by how quickly the 25-year-old has adapted to life in the Premier League.

The Italian attacker scored his sixth goal in just his fourth appearance for the Saints – following a January transfer window move from Napoli – during their 4-3 win against the Hornets at Saturday.

The strike added to two in the EFL Cup Final, in which he should have had a hat-trick had it not been for an incorrect offside flag, a brace against Sunderland and a goal against West Ham United on his debut.

What’s he said, then?

Well, he was full of praise for his national compatriot and recalled how effective Gabbiadini was in Serie A.

“I played with Gabbiadini at Sampdoria and it was an enjoyable time. He was a fantastic player because he is so clever.

“He would work hard on his finishing, and he is very clinical with his left foot.

“He’s a good player, he’s scoring a lot of goals now and next year, if he plays like this, he’ll be at Real Madrid!”

We sense a little tongue in cheek, though?

Yes, of course.

It is hard not to be impressed by Gabbiadini’s instinct in front of goal though, and it is certainly similar to players such as Jermain Defoe, who just seem to have that clever movement and finishing touch when they get an opportunity in the penalty area.

Should Saints fans be worried?

Usually Southampton supporters are worried that the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United will come calling for their players, but Real Madrid would be an entirely different story!

Of course, if he scores in every remaining match this season there will no doubt be interest in Gabbiadini, but having only moved to St Mary’s in January, the club will be confident of keeping their new hero.

For next season, at least.