Could Sam Gallagher solve Southampton's striker problems?

The Saints loanee's fine form for Blackburn could lead to an earlier than expected return to the South Coast.

Could Sam Gallagher solve Southampton's striker problems?
Could Sam Gallagher return to Southampton earlier than anticipated? Photo: Getty.

With Southampton's league form stuttering and manager Claude Puel only having two fit out-and-out strikers at his disposal, a recall for Sam Gallagher is not out of the question.

The young striker is enjoying life on loan at Championship side Blackburn Roversscoring an impressive seven goals in 17 games for the East Lancashire side so far this season.

Yet to live up to his potential

Gallagher burst on the scene in the 2013/14 season, when then Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino regularly gave him first-team minutes, both off the bench and as a starter. The 18-year-old's performances were encouraging, as he managed goals in both the FA Cup and the Premier League, before scoring the winner in the Under-21 Premier League Cup Final at the end of that campaign. 

However, Gallagher's progress thereafter was hampered by a long-term knee injury, which has prevented him from playing in Southampton's first-team since. Last season's loan move to MK Dons provided little relief, with the 6'4'' forward being unable to find the net in 15 appearances.

Gallagher's loan spell at MK Dons last season was unsuccessful. Photo: Getty.

As a result, very few around St Mary's were surprised to see Gallagher go out on loan in the summer once again, this time to Blackburn.

A change in fortunes

With time running out to prove that he is capable of playing at the top level, Gallagher has rediscovered the form of his earliest professional days at Ewood Park this season.

Gallagher has been in good form for Blackburn. Photo: Getty.

Despite Rovers sitting 23rd out of 24 in England's second tier, Gallagher has been one of their few high notes, scoring some important goals, including a superb volley against Wolves

Back to the Premier League?

Gallagher's good form, combined with Southampton's lack of quality and quantity up front currently, have led to speculation of a recall for the 21-year-old. 

With Shane Long injured, the Saints only have two recognised strikers in Charlie Austin and Jay Rodriguez. What's more, Puel's men's lack of firepower was demonstrated last Sunday when, after missing a whole host of goal-scoring opportunities, Southampton allowed Hull City to come from behind to defeat them 2-1.

Southampton's loss at Hull last Sunday exposed their issues up front. Photo: Getty.

Blackburn manager Owen Coyle has also been full of praise for his top scorer, saying he is a "bona fide Premier League player". 

If Puel agrees with his fellow manager, then it may not be long at all before Sam Gallagher is back in the colours of Southampton.