Saints willing to let go of attacking trio

The new Southampton owner, Jisheng Geo, only wants players who are value for money and feel certain individuals are not delivering.

Saints willing to let go of attacking trio
(Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

Southampton's lacklustre goal scoring form this campaign is somewhat bewildering considering the personnel they have at their disposal in the attacking ranks; Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long the three trade mark strikers amongst the first-team camp. 

However, with Mauricio Pellegrino's struggling to find the back of the net this term, it has come to the owner's attention that perhaps the club need to invest in an entire new strike force. 

The team's latest outing saw the Saints lose 3-0 on the road at Anfield against a dominant Liverpool side which means they sit 14th in the Premier League table - still four points above the drop but have dropped down a place nearer towards the dreaded bottom three. 

Manolo Gabbiadini, who joined back in January for £15 million from Italian outfit Napoli, has only netted twice since the beginning of the season - both incidentally coming in the 2-2 home draw to Newcastle United. Meanwhile, Charlie Austin's tally is one this campaign and Shane Long, once a £12 million arrival from Hull City, has not scored a goal at any level since February. 

Why are the Saints struggling to find the net this term?

Mauricio Pellegrino has notably been slated for his defensive tactics, much like Claude Puel set out for Southampton in his twelve months on the south coast. This obviously has some impact into the team's attacking integrity but the statistics don't lie, and probably show where the problem lies. 

The Saints have scored a disappointing nine league goals in the 2017/18 season so far having played twelve games up to this point and that is a worrying concern for the coaching staff. 

Gabbiadini, a marquee acquisition for Southampton ten months ago, was consistently delivering for the club in the second half of last year but those performances are few and far between in recent times. The only change between now and then is the manager and all the fingers should be point towards Pellegrino. 

The owner isn't too keen on getting rid of the current boss, however, meaning the club could be bound for some cash in January as the hierarchy are willing to allow the front three options to all exit St. Mary's, and with the likely departure of Virgil van Dijk, Southampton could very well have a large transfer kitty to play around with in the winter window. 

Which personnel are better off staying at the Saints?

If there's any of the current attacking choices that should remain in Hampshire, it's Manolo Gabbiadini and Charlie Austin. The former has proven he is fully capable of finding the back of the net in the Premier League, having shown that last term, and Austin is a firm, and deservedly, fan favourite at St. Mary's. 

Shane Long was once a proven attacking option to have in the top-flight but he isn't getting any younger and therefore needs top be let go as soon as possible; clearly heading on a downward spiral from here in terms of his ability at the very top level. The Republic of Ireland international's failure to score a goal in nine months just goes to prove he is no longer an in-demand individual at Southampton.