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Southampton should go all out for Quincy Promes

Saturday 27th January 2018

Honing Southampton's extremely blunt attack was Mauricio Pellegrino's topmost priority going into the winter. Two players were pencilled in as targets: Guido Carrillo and Quincy Promes. The former's arrival has been secured. Negotiations are still dragging back and forth for Promes. Regardless of outlay, Pellegrino should stop at nothing to lure the young Dutchman to England. The Spartak Moscow winger has been maturing into a goal machine in the Russian capital. 

Soton's lack of firepower has never been more disturbing. They can’t quite seem to strike hard enough. From open play, long range, or set pieces, the side has proved impotent. Charlie Austin's injury almost seems contagious. For all his infinite hustle, Shane Long isn't trustworthy. Neither is Manolo Gabbiadini. Nathan Redmond has clearly laid aside the old tricks that made him top scorer last season. The result a frightful joint four strikes. Even the dreadfully off-form Cristiano Ronaldo is outscoring them.

Goals win games. Bereft, absolute chaos mounts. Such has been the scenario on the South Coast. Pitiful and ludicrous. Southampton has won only four league matches this season. That's as many as bottom club Swansea City. Only West Brom has less. More disturbing, the St Mary's squad is winless in 12. Top-flight status is slipping through its fingers.

Thankfully, there's something positive from the South Coast. Argentine forward Guido Carrillo joined from Monaco on Thursday. While not the most prolific around, the 26-year-old could be just the wild card So'ton needs.

Promes is still shuffled in the deck. The Saints may have to fork out almost half the fee recouped from Virgil van Dijk's sale for the Muscovites to deal him. As a matter of urgency, they should.

In Promes, Southampton will land a player with an impeccable record in the final third. Despite predominately playing on the flanks, he flaunts an extremely scary goal return. Only rivaled by the top dogs. In little more than a century of games for Spartak, Promes has found the net an impressive 58 times.

While many may scoff at his Russian Premier League credentials, Promes has proven to be equally prolific elsewhere. Two Eredivisie seasons produced 38 goals. For l'Oranje, he's found the net four times in 25 appearances. All in the last two years. 

Although burying chances essentially lies with the top striker, the middle men require service. Promes can craft them for teammates. He has done so with reckless abandon throughout his career. In 76 matches with Twente Enschede and Go Ahead Eagles, he bagged 19 helpers. In 115 with Spartak, he has 31. 

His sheer pace and movement enable him to creep into dangerous positions. Unusual for a winger, Promes regularly finds deadly attacking positions and acts as an auxiliary forward. He has played through the middle on a number of occasions for Spartak.

Speed is always a valuable trait, especially in the Premier League. Promes has more than most. His ability and willingness to move beyond the striker and threaten the opposition goal make him a more flexible option. His wickedly powerful shot means he is always a threat.

Promes takes penalties with his right but is two-footed. He can thrive on either flank as well as on the inside. He has the tactical flexibility and intelligence to fit in Pellegrino's squad. He is not known to be a particularly hard worker in defence, although that skill can be learned.

This is a deal that could rescue Southampton's season.

Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 

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