Southampton have undergone a mini resurgence over the previous week, defeating Crystal Palace in the FA Cup before a stunning 2-0 victory over Manchester City in the EFL Cup during midweek which should give Nathan Jones’ side some confidence from now on.
“He’s a versatile player as well. He could play out wide or down the middle as well and Southampton really need to add goals to the side because I think that’s been a major issue for them this season. And that’s why they find themselves in trouble at the bottom of the table.”
Maeda would certainly add goals to this Southampton side, having enjoyed a wonderful year north of the border with Celtic.
The Japanese star joined the Glasgow giants from Japanese side Yokohama F. Marinos on an initial loan deal last January before signing on a permanent basis in the summer. The 25-year-old has scored 14 goals while registering 11 assists and played a key part in their side that won the Scottish Premiership last season.
The forward was called up to the Japan squad for the recent World Cup and even managed to get on the scoresheet against Croatia in the last 16 tie, underlining his pedigree and he could add something different to the side’s attacking options, especially as he can play either out wide or as a centre-forward.
He has registered ten goal contributions in 19 matches while taking 1.0 shots per game and his goal tally could have been higher were it not for the player missing four big chances.
By creating five big chances and generating 0.9 key passes per match, via Sofascore, Maeda has the ability to create plenty of opportunities for others and Southampton could benefit from this during the second half of the season.
The two recent cup victories may have been a confidence boost for Jones and his side, but winning matches in the Premier League remains the priority. Signing Maeda this month will give the Saints a different dynamic going forward and there is no doubt he can shine in England.