Southampton must sign Celta Vigo star Maxi Gomez to solve their goalscoring woes

Southampton were beaten 3-0 by Championship side Derby County in a pre-season friendly at the iPro Stadium on Saturday, and while games at this time of year can’t always be analysed too seriously, you have to be a little worried about another toothless display.

What’s the word, then?

Charlie Austin celebrates with Mark Hughes

Well, Saints almost suffered relegation to the Championship last term following four successive top-eight finishes previously, and one of the main issues was their failure to put the ball into the back of the net – they scored just 37 times in their 38 Premier League matches.

However, despite the fact that the likes of Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long struggled in front of goal and Charlie Austin was once again hampered by injury issues, Mark Hughes is yet to bring in a new centre-forward this summer, with club-record buy Guido Carrillo linking up with former boss Mauricio Pellegrino at Leganes.

It does feel like Southampton are yet to effectively replace Graziano Pelle following his departure in 2016, given the Italian was strong, useful in the air and, most importantly, could hold the ball up to allow his fellow attackers to catch up with play.

Who should Hughes be targeting?

Well, striker rumours have been few and far between for the south coast outfit so far this summer, and it is a bit of mystery why they aren’t targeting Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez.

The Uruguay international, dubbed ‘The new Luis Suarez’ acccording to Goal, showed his qualities by scoring 18 goals in 36 La Liga appearances in his first year in Spain, while he provided a further five assists.

Just 21 years of age and strong in the air, he looks to be exactly what Southampton are looking for, and even though he could come at a cost it is clear to see that Saints, who should be looking to hijack a big-money Fulham move for another striker, need to break the bank for a new striker who can make a difference now, and in the future.