FOUR strikers who could boost Southampton’s promotion hopes

With Che Adams’ future uncertain and Ross Stewart out this summer, Saints may have to sign the striker in January.

Russell Martin admitted a replacement will be named when Adams, who has six months left on his contract, leaves St Mary’s this month.

After Adam Armstrong, Southampton’s second top scorer, Adams has found the net just six times this season.

Southampton have scored 46 league goals. By comparison, their promotion rivals scored 54 (Leicester City), 48 (Ipswich Town) and 45 (Leeds United).

Martin remains pleased with his strength in attack, but with Adams and Sekou Mara linked with departures, the Saints could be forced to make transfer moves.

Here are four options we think could help Saints secure automatic promotion in the second half of the Championship season…

Danny Ings

Former Saints goalscorer Danny Ings was well known to many Southampton fans in the lead-up to January.

The Winchester-born player made just one Premier League start for West Ham under David Moyes.

His limited minutes combined with Southampton’s perceived need for a new number nine has left some fans yearning for a reunion.

Despite other strikers being injured, he has failed to make an impact in the starting line-up in recent weeks, with Jarrod Bowen the favorite in attack.

Ings has scored just three goals for the Hammers since joining the club in January last year. Relegation to the Championship could revive his scoring potential.

Daily Echo: Danny Ings scored 46 goals in 100 games before joining Aston Villa

Mao Hosoya

This may be the least known name on this list. Mao Hosoya made a breakthrough in 2023.

The J-League has become a hotbed for cheap transfers. Look to Kaoru Mitoma and Kyogo Furuhashi as proof, and Hosoya may be the latest example.

The 21-year-old scored 14 goals in 34 appearances for Kashiwa Reysol’s disappointing side last season. His team avoided relegation to J2 by ​​four points, largely thanks to his goals.

Hosoya, who is linked with Championship side Sunderland, was named in Japan’s squad for this month’s Asian Cup and started in the pre-tournament win over Thailand.

An excellent striker in the box, Hosoya exceeded expected targets (11.32) but did not crack the top 30 in shots per 90 minutes (1.94).

His goal conversion rate was 21.5 percent last season, an improvement from last season’s 19.1.

By comparison, Armstrong’s target conversion rate this season is 19.4 percent. Blackburn’s Sammy Szmodich has 19.5 percent.

Boyan Miovski

Another potentially cost-effective option could be Aberdeen’s Boyan Miovski.

Reports north of the border have linked Saints with the North Macedonian striker, who has scored nine goals for the SPFL this season.

Saints recruitment chief Darren Mowbray is said to be keen to sign Miovski, given the likely interest from several clubs.

Mowbray signed the 24-year-old from MTK Budapest for around £500,000 in July 2022 during his time at Aberdeen.

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson hopes the 17-time international will remain at the club.

Last month he said: “Bojan loves playing here. The way we play suits him and I think he has really improved as a player over the last year.

“We’ve worked a lot on his game and you see him making runs from behind and diagonally.”

“Right now his career is at a good stage. Selling him is not what we want to achieve as a football club. We want to keep it under control for as long as possible.

Daily Echo: Saints have already been linked with Bojan Miovski

David Brooks

Another name linked with the Saints ahead of January was Bournemouth’s David Brooks.

The Wales international, who can play on the wing or as a number 10, has made just two starts for the Cherries under Andoni Iraola.

This has led to speculation that he could leave Bournemouth on loan.

Although he is not a forward, signing Brooks will help Armstrong play center.

Brooks, a left-footed right winger, is one of the players Southampton want to sign in January.

At his best, the 26-year-old can slip past opposition defenders without resorting to much speed.

In his last full season in the Championship (2020-21), Brooks scored five goals and provided seven assists.

Daily Echo: David Brooks has played just 252 minutes in the Premier League this season

One possible reason that could hurt Saints’ chances of signing Brooks is Bournemouth’s current limited attacking options.

Antoine Semenyo and Dango Ouattara have been called up to the WSCO, while Hamed Traore faces a long period of exclusion due to malaria.

Author: George Rees-Julian
Source: Daily Echo

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