Southampton have only managed to score five goals in their opening seven Premier League games of the season and have yet to secure their first win of the campaign.
This says to us that not only have Southampton had some difficulty putting the ball in the back of the net so far this season, but it also says that they could do with as many attacking options as possible at their disposal.
One attacker they won’t have in their squad this season is 22-year-old striker Dan N’Lundulu who is currently on a loan spell with League One side Lincoln City.
However, the fact that Southampton don’t have N’Lundulu in their squad this season doesn’t seem much of a disadvantage for the Saints.
That’s because he hasn’t managed to score a goal or provide an assist for Michael Appleton’s side so far this season, despite having seven appearances and a total 406 minutes of playing time under his belt.
N’Lundulu joined Southampton’s academy back in 2013 from Chelsea’s youth side for an undisclosed fee. After working his way through Southampton’s youth system, the striker eventually made his senior debut for the Saints in October 2020 in a 2-0 Premier League victory against Everton.
Clearly blessed with enormous promise, he needs to improve in order to live up to that potential. At the moment, he will be doing little to catch the eye of coaches at St Mary’s, let alone Hasenhuttl who will no doubt be frustrated.
The Austrian clearly rates him highly, however, praising the youngster’s qualities last term:
“He’s a type of striker we don’t have in our side so far. He gives us physical options, can keep the ball very well,” he said.
“They [other U23 players] are more and more adapted to what we are doing here in the first team and it is nice to see when they are coming out, they are now on a different level.”
While N’Lundulu may not have had the ideal start to his loan deal with Lincoln, the fact that he has played through the majority of their three previous league games shows that he is getting the opportunity to play.
Consequently, it may just be a matter of time before he opens his goal tally for the club, which would be great for all parties involved.
Moving forward, if N’Lundulu can turn his fortunes around and end his loan spell with Lincoln on a high note with a significant number of goals and assists to his name before returning to Southampton, this could potentially put him in the frame to be given more opportunities to play in their first team if Hasenhuttl believes he is capable of doing so.