Southampton have agreed to sign striker Sekou Mara from Bordeaux, which could be the catalyst the Saints need for getting rid of Adam Armstrong.
He joins Che Adams and Armstrong as the main centre-forward options in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad, while the likes of Nathan Tella and Mohamed Elyounoussi could also do a job up front if required.
While Mara is still a teenager and very inexperienced, his six goals in 10 appearances for France under-20s illustrate his ability in front of goal, and it seems likely that he will get plenty of first-team opportunities next season.
Although Hasenhuttl has lost Armando Broja and Shane Long from his attacking options from last season, it seems clear that the Austrian doesn’t favour Armstrong, and the signing of Mara could potentially result in the former Newcastle United man leaving this summer.
After joining from Blackburn Rovers in a £15m deal last summer, the Englishman managed just two goals in 23 Premier League appearances (six of those as a substitute), averaging a shocking 6.38 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
During his time at Ewood Park, he scored plenty of goals but was also accused of being “desperate” on occasion, and that was reflected in his first season at St Mary’s, as too often he would shoot from improbable angles and finish poorly.
Unfortunately, it seems as if the 25-year-old won’t make the cut in the Premier League; and if Mara can come in and be a success, then Armstrong may find himself sitting on the bench for much of the upcoming season.
However, there has been interest from the Championship in the ex-Blackburn marksman, and now that Hasenhuttl has more depth in attack, he should consider getting rid of Armstrong, as it seems clear that the 25-year-old isn’t going to be a success on the south coast.