With just five goals scored in their opening seven Premier League games of the season, leaving only Norwich City (2) having found the back of the net on fewer occasions, Southampton have not been in their best-attacking form so far in their latest league campaign.
One particular reason for this could be down to the fact that the previous summer transfer window saw the Saints sell striker Danny Ings to fellow Premier League club Aston Villa in a deal worth a reported fee of £25m.
Ings originally signed to Southampton on a loan deal from Liverpool in the 2018 summer transfer window before they secured him on a permanent basis in July 2019.
During his time with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, the striker, who is currently valued at £19.8m according to Transfermarkt, managed to score 46 goals in 100 appearances across all competitions, providing ten assists as well, proving just how important he was to the team.
Since joining Dean Smith’s side, Ings has managed to score two goals and provide two assists in his opening seven league games.
Additionally, one of Ings’ goals for Villa saw him win the Premier League’s Goal of the Month award for August after scoring an impressive overhead kick in their 2-0 win over Newcastle United earlier in the season.
Taking all of this into account, we feel that Hasenhuttl and Gao Jisheng should not have sold Ings over the summer, especially to a fellow Premier League club like Villa who are now reaping the benefits of having him in their squad in terms of his goals and assists. After all, the boss did call him “unbelievable” last season.
The fact that Southampton have only managed to score five goals in the Premier League so far this season suggests that they are missing a striker of Ings’ quality to get the goals for them.
Of course, the English forward was out of contract at the end of the season but his goals may have guaranteed their safety. As a consequence, the Saints have rather gambled with their future.
Moving forward, we feel that Southampton should use the transfer money they got for Ings to sign a new striker in the upcoming January transfer window to replace Ings. That’s especially if current Saints striker Che Adams doesn’t manage to start scoring on a consistent basis given he has yet to score a goal in the league this season.
If this doesn’t happen and Southampton end up getting relegated, it would be safe to say that not having Ings would be a big factor in that potentially happening.