Southampton striker Sam Gallagher has barely had a sniff of first-team action since Ralph Hasenhuttl arrived at the club in December, but with Premier League safety now assured he should hand the 23-year-old one final chance to save his Saints career against West Ham United this weekend.
Despite the 23-year-old still having two years remaining on his contract at St Mary’s, his future with the south coast outfit is surely in doubt.
The centre-forward would have been hoping to make a big impression for the top flight outfit this term following successful loan spells with Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers in the Championship, but it hasn’t happened for him.
While he has suffered injury niggles here and there he has still only featured for 30 minutes in the Premier League this season, and hasn’t even been in the squad for their previous four fixtures.
It has hardly helped that the majority of Gallagher’s game time this term has been short cameos from the substitutes’ bench, and he deserves a start and a fair amount of time on the pitch to make an impression.
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The 23-year-old has found himself behind the likes of Danny Ings, Shane Long and Charlie Austin in the pecking order in recent weeks, and it is difficult to see that changing next season – especially if Hasenhuttl signs another striker.
The 51-year-old should place his faith in the Devon-born player from the start for the dead rubber fixture against the Irons at the London Stadium on Saturday, to see if he has a future at St Mary’s beyond the current campaign.
If he impresses it shows he is worth working with during pre-season, but if he doesn’t it will signal to the club that he needs to be moved on.