Southampton are a team that seem to be making huge strides with each passing week under Austrian manager Ralph Hassenhuttl, and their style of play has won over many neutrals and critics for how enjoyable it is to watch.
Pressing high, quick counter-attacks and high-flying full-backs, the Saints team are one of the most exciting teams in the league right now, but if they could improve in one area, it is quite obvious what that area would be – goals.
Having scored just 34 this season, Hassenhuttl will be desperate to make the side more clinical either on the training ground – or in the summer transfer window, after missing 1.1 big chances per game this campaign so far.
However, their goal returns haven’t been the biggest disappointment this year, as Adam Armstrong, who was signed from Blackburn in the summer for £15m, has thus far yet to prove why he was labelled as “dynamic” by Rovers manager Tony Mowbray – after scoring 28 Championship goals last season.
The former Newcastle United prospect has made 19 Premier League appearances this campaign but has netted just two goals – a rate of just 0.1 goals per game or one goal every 600 minutes.
What’s worse is that Shane Long has seemingly moved back ahead of him in the pecking order in recent weeks, and if Armstrong fails to make much more of an impact and score any more, the transfer fee will work out at £8m per goal – a dismal return for a 25-year-old striker.
However, there are people who are backing the former England U21 international to return to his best and make it in the Premier League, including former teammate Tyrhys Dolan, who named him as the best player he has played with, and also described him as an “absolute player” in a recent interview on the Sky Sports EFL podcast.
Despite Hassenhuttl also taking responsibility for his slow start, time is running out for Armstrong, who must take the next crop of chances he gets – including if he is called upon tonight in their FA Cup tie against West Ham, to avoid being axed from the team completely and sold – potentially back to a Championship club.