By: George Stokes
Southampton have completed the signing of Manolo Gabbiadini from Napoli in a deal believed to be worth £14million. The Saints have brought no one in so far this window, despite losing captain Jose Fonte to Premier League rivals West Ham.
Manager Claude Puel has already guided Southampton to the League Cup final, and is now setting about adding the extra quality to bolster his side going into the back end of the season.
With Charlie Austin out injured for the foreseeable future, and with Shane Long and Jay Rodriguez not really firing in the goals, Claude Puel’s attacking options have been scarce this season, and many fans of the south coast club have been surprised not to see a deal for a forward wrapped up sooner in the window.
And as the January window comes to a close, it looks like Gabbiadini is going to be the answer to Puel’s questions. The Italian international has found regular starts a rarity this season in Naples, sitting behind the likes of Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon, no one came blame him for looking to get back into action as he enters the prime of his career.
15 goals in 55 games for Maurizio Sarri’s side, the deal has been on the table for a lot of this window and it looks like it will finally be announced on deadline day itself.
For those who don’t regularly watch Serie A football, Gabbiadini may be unheard of to some, but I think he can add a lot to this Southampton side. A short, pacey forward, he has the ring of Shane Long about him, but with a lot more quality than the Irishman.
A versatile player, who played a lot more of his career in the three in-behind a front man, but has been used as both in his three year-spell at Napoli. Goals have been on and off, but having spent most of his time there on the bench, the stats can be deceiving.