Southampton's move for Che Adams signals intent
Background Image Via: Flickr/Mike Beales. CC BY 4.0.
Just under a week ago, flashy announcement and all, Southampton unveiled their latest signing, Che Adams. The Englishman cost around £15million, with the centre-forward set to pocket around £50,000-a-week on the South Coast.
After losing Manolo Gabbiadini in January, signing a new striker must have been atop Ralph Hasenhüttl's transfer wishlist. It would have been oh so easy for the Austrian to move for Daniel Sturridge on a free transfer, or eye a deal for a cheaper, journeyman forward like, say, someone like Dwight Gayle.
Instead, Southampton has rolled the dice on a young, fresh-faced 22-year-old with potential aplenty. The 2018/19 campaign was Adams' breakthrough. In 46 games, the forward scored twenty-two goals while tacking on five assists for his teammates. Without his goals, Birmingham City would have almost certainly found themselves embroiled deep in a relegation scrap.
Whether he can replicate that in the Premier League is a gamble, but it's one worth taking. Shane Long's days are numbered, while Charlie Austin and Dany Ings will remain consistently inconsistent. I do question the Saint's decision to sign the latter, for £20million no-less, but that's a debate for another day entirely...
Southampton's owners are in a tricky predicament. Do they stick, and continue to ensure they maintain their status as a Premier League side, or do they twist and try to get themselves in amongst it, potentially pushing for a place in the top-half? With a superb manager like Hasenhüttl at the helm, it made perfect sense for the Lander Sports Investment group to splash the cash now as this is their best chance in years to move up the table - and I'm absolutely thrilled that they're willing to take the risk on a mega-talented up-and-comer like Adams.
Make no mistake about it, this Southampton team is exciting and they're going to be great entertainment over the next twelve months. James Ward-Prowse is starting to show his brilliance with increasing regularity, while players like Nathan Redmond and Mario Lemina continue to prove their importance. Adding Adams to a young, hungry squad jam-packed with potential is certainly a step in the right direction.
Nothing troubles opposing defenders more than sheer pace. When you couple Adams' rapid speed with the insane determination, unreal desire and the pure willingness to win, you've got the real makings of a centre-back's worst nightmare. Be it as a regular start or a second-half substitute, Southampton's new addition is a player who'll make his mark on this league for many years to come.
I genuinely believe he's picked the perfect club to continue to develop and improve as a player. Southampton has always been a hotbed of young, predominantly English talent and they'll give Adams every opportunity to turn into the player that he believes he can become. The fit for both player and club just seems perfect, and for those Fantasy League players amongst you, at just 6.0, this boy could be your wildcard selection.
There's every chance that Adams will need a few months to adjust to the pace and physicality of the Premier League, but in the long-term, Southampton have found themselves a diamond in the rough who could turn into an absolute superstar for both club and country for many years to come... That's until Liverpool come knocking at the door yet again...