Southampton have a big decision to make in the summer in regard to the future of Che Adams, after he was a target of interest to clubs like Leeds in January.
The Saints hit back several bids from the Whites which indicated that the striker was part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans, but after playing just 34 minutes in the league since the end of January it would seem that the situation could change.
In that sense, the Saints may be keen to recruit some of the expenditure they spent on him, and having been successful in the Championship before there would likely be multiple clubs vying for his signature.
Hasenhuttl must decide whether or not he wants to keep him. A loan to rebuild his confidence could work wonders for all the parties involved but failing that, the Austrian boss has to given him more starting chances if he is to ever prove himself at St.Mary’s.
Here are the views of our writers on the 23-year-old’s future and what the best course of action is for the club to take.
“Sorting out Che Adams this summer is perhaps Ralph Hasenhuttl’s biggest puzzle, but the Saints boss shouldn’t discard of him just yet. It’s clear to see that he just hasn’t adapted to the demands of Premier League football, but a natural goalscorer like himself doesn’t just lose it overnight and it’ll be on the south coast side to bring those 22 league goals back out of him.
“The 23-year-old may be best equipped for a loan move elsewhere, maybe even to a newly promoted side – potentially Leeds – or a top-end Championship team such as a Fulham or Nottingham Forest. He’s one of the younger senior options and with Shane Long entering the twilight years of his fading career, it would be wise to get Adams up to speed in time for that transition.
“Hasenhutl can turn this blunder into a resounding success if he just gives Adams the chance to refind his feet temporarily, and then in the end, it should work out best for all involved at St Mary’s.”
“It would be a foolish move for Southampton to sell Adams. This is a 23-year-old who scored 22 Championship goals last term, so there is no way he should be written off just yet.
“Hasenhuttl should keep him at St. Mary’s for the time being as it still feels as though he could form a deadly partnership with Danny Ings, similarly to what he did with Lukas Jutkiewicz at Birmingham. With Michael Obafemi also fighting to earn game time, the two strikers could push each other on to ensure they are the one to take over from Long.
“Now he has had his bedding in period, next season is time for Adams to show Southampton fans what he is capable of.”
“Southampton committed to a significant investment in Che Adams, so they have to stick with him.
“If they weren’t keen on doing just that, then Hasenhuttl had a golden chance to wash his hands of the striker in January when Leeds made as many as three offers for the ex-Birmingham man – as a result, he must now stay loyal to Adams after robbing him of a chance to play regular football.
“Adams is also worth keeping around as Danny Ings is known to be injury-prone, suffering serious issues in both knees while at Liverpool.
“Add the fact that Shane Long is now 33 years old into the mix, and there is definitely a reason to keep the big-money signing around despite his struggles.”
“Adams has made small contributions to Southampton this season, influencing games he started such as the away wins against Chelsea, Sheffield United and Brighton, but that is not enough to warrant a place in the matchday squad moving forward.
“His previous record shows there is a player in there somehwere though, and Hasenhuttl must mix things up if he is to play to the forward’s strengths.
“If he is unwilling to do so, which appears to be the case, then he should loan him out – preferably to a team which can guarantee him game time.
“Getting back amongst the goals is all any striker needs to rebuild confidence and if he manages it he could return as a completely different player.
“Another, more expensive measure, is to sign a strike partner who he can play off, with Hasenhuttl’s targeting of 6 foot 5 Gianluca Scamacca perhaps a bid to further that aim.”
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