Southampton were linked with Ollie Watkins during the summer transfer window and following the recent injury to Danny Ings, it could be argued that the Saints made an error in not signing the 24-year-old.
In a report for The Athletic, David Ornstein confirmed that Southampton were one of several sides showing an interest in the then-Brentford forward.
However, the former Exeter City man would end up joining Aston Villa in a £27.72 million deal and he has started life at Villa Park in excellent fashion, proving to be a beast in front of goal having contributed six strikes and one assist in nine appearances for Dean Smith’s side, including a hat-trick against Liverpool in their remarkable 7-2 victory (per Transfermarkt).
Of course, Danny Ings was in sensational form last season, hitting 22 goals in the top-flight, and the Saints also had Che Adams hitting form following the Premier League restart, so you can perhaps understand why they may have been unwilling to splash the cash on Watkins.
However, Ings is now set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury and when you consider some of the injury problems the 28-year-old has faced in his career thus far, you could argue that it would have been a sensible move for the Saints to bring in another striker during the transfer window.
The Saints did sign Theo Walcott on loan from Everton towards the end of the transfer window but other than that, they made no attacking signings during the summer (per Transfermarkt).
With Watkins having impressed for Villa thus far, perhaps he would have been a ready-made replacement for Ings, had he signed for the South Coast side rather than the Birmingham-based club.
Of course, the absence of Ings didn’t seem to cause too many problems for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side on Friday night, as they won 2-0 against Newcastle United to go top of the league but long-term, you wonder whether their lack of depth in attack could cause them problems going forward.
It will be interesting to see if they end up regretting not signing Watkins, who was described as “amazing” by ex-boss Thomas Frank, during the summer but judging by his superb start at Villa, it can certainly be argued that the Saints made a mistake in not bringing him in.