Southampton have been linked with both Adam Armstrong and Matthew Hoppe in recent weeks, but who would be the better addition to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side?
Southampton have been regularly linked with a move for the Blackburn Rovers striker and are expected to return with another bid for the 24-year-old in the near future after seeing their first offer for him rejected by the Championship side.
The former Newcastle United man hit 28 goals in the Championship last season, so despite him entering the final year of his contract at Ewood Park, Blackburn are still demanding a hefty fee for the forward this summer.
Hasenhuttl relied upon Danny Ings and Che Adams as the main goalscorers in his side last season, and if the influential Ings were to depart this summer after rejecting a new contract at St Mary’s, Armstrong could prove to be the clinical striker Southampton need despite his comparative lack of top-flight experience.
According to 90min, Southampton are one of several Premier League clubs taking an interest in the Schalke 04 striker this summer after he finished as the top scorer for the team last season in what was his first campaign as a professional.
The 20-year-old hit six goals for Die Konigsblauen as they were ultimately relegated from the Bundesliga, so it is no surprise to see clubs showing an interest in him, as Schalke’s worrying financial issues mean that he would likely be available at a cut-price fee.
The £4.05m-rated forward was heavily praised by Jurgen Klinsmann after he hit an impressive hattrick in a 4-0 win against Hoffenheim last season, with the former Germany coach saying: “Schalke has one of the best academy systems in Germany. It’s not a coincidence that a lot of top talents in Germany come off the Schalke production line.
“And seeing him there today, scoring three goals in probably one of the most difficult moments in Schalke’s history, is just incredible.”
Whilst Armstrong boasts a better goalscoring record and more experience, he has never proven himself in the Premier League, whereas Hoppe showed his class in the German top flight last season despite playing for a relegated team.
Hoppe also has age on his side and will be a lot cheaper than Armstrong, with Blackburn reportedly wanting as much as £25m for their man this summer.
Therefore, if the Englishman proves to be too expensive, then Saints CEO Martin Semmens should instead look to bring the 20-year-old Hoppe to St Mary’s this summer.