With just ten goals scored in their opening 11 Premier League games of the season, Southampton have not been particularly prolific in front of goal in this campaign compared to some of the other teams around them in the league table.
Taking this into account, it seems as though the south coast club have their eye on securing a new young talent that could well improve their attacking power for the foreseeable future.
It has recently been reported by the Daily Mail that Southampton are one of the clubs interested in signing West Brom youngster Reyes Cleary, who has been described as a “powerful forward player with an eye for goal” by Baggies U18 manager Peter Gilbert.
As a product of West Brom’s youth academy, the 17-year-old striker has scored an impressive 16 goals in 21 appearances for their U18 side as well as netting three goals in eight appearances for the U23s, which is presumably why clubs such as Southampton and others like Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Bayern Munich are all reportedly keeping tabs on the teenager.
Given how Cleary has yet to make a senior appearance for West Brom in the Championship, Southampton may not see him as a player ready to play in the Premier League against top opposition, despite how impressive he has been from a goalscoring point of view in Albion’s youth ranks.
With that in mind, Southampton should do all they can to make sure they are the ones that are securing Cleary’s signature as one of England’s potential top youth talents so they can develop him in their youth ranks. If he arrives, he could follow in the footsteps of the likes of Jack Stephens, Nathan Tella and James Ward-Prowse to become a regular first-team player for the Saints.
Also, with current Southampton striker Shane Long see to see his contract expire in the summer and the fact that the 34-year-old has only played 16 minutes of Premier League action this season, there’s every chance that Cleary could well be the Irishman’s long-term replacement at St. Mary’s.
It would be a strange coincidence if he could emulate the striker, as he has ties to West Brom himself from earlier in his career.