Manager Ralph Hassenhuttl has won over critics this season as his Southampton team have played some exceptional football, particularly in recent weeks including their 3-2 win away at Antonio Conte’s Tottenham.
Their high-flying wing-backs Tino Livramento and Kyle Walker-Peters have received plenty of praise for their attacking performances, while James Ward-Prowse is regularly gaining admirers and earning plaudits.
One player, however, who has had arguably the biggest break-out year of the season is on-loan striker Armando Broja, who at 6 foot 3, has terrorised defences this season.
Southampton are desperate to make their temporary deal for Broja a permanent one, but with Chelsea tempted about the idea of keeping the Albanian, and interest from Arsenal, Hassenhuttl might face an uphill battle to acquire him.
While Transfermarkt value the striker at just £8.1m, it’s extremely unlikely that Chelsea will accept a bid anywhere close to that number – due to his unique combination of size, skill and pace.
Should the south-coast club be able to sign Broja on a permanent deal, it simply much be completed as the 20-year-old has the potential to become one of the best strikers in the league, if not the continent.
Ignoring the eight goals in 25 games so far in all competitions this season, he is also demonstrating superb ability as a hold-up striker – being in the top 10% across Europe’s top five leagues for aerials won as a forward (4.68 per game) as well as in the top 22% for progressive carries (4.13 per game) and dribbles completed (1.38 per game).
There aren’t many strikers in the world that possess his flair and size, with Erling Haaland and Alexander Isak in demand for similar reasons, but for Broja to get to that level, he must start netting more goals – and while he is developing at this pace at Southampton, that is definitely possible.
After all, Premier League legend Alan Shearer still thinks he’s “clinical” inside the area.
His departure just a year after losing Danny Ings last summer would surely be a disaster for Hasenhuttl and it would be a monumental blow for the Saints if they can’t complete a deal, something the fans will surely be left devastated by as they see a player of his talent leave at the end of the season.