Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez came back last season after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament in April 2014. Due to that very injury, Rodriguez had to stay off the field for an entire season missing out on 2014/15. After such an extended spell on the sidelines, the striker looked rusty when he took to the field and just when he was looking to get back to normal after a few substitute appearances, the English striker suffered yet another injury setback in October 2015, this time with a nerve in his foot which kept him on the sidelines for another eight weeks and forced him to undergo yet another surgery.
It wasn’t until April 2016, that the striker was able to play any part in a competitive game as he came on as a late substitute at St. Mary’s against Newcastle. The striker was delighted to make his comeback as he received a rousing ovation from the Saints faithful, for which he expressed his appreciations on twitter later. However, the striker had a tough time in front of the goal since his return. In the two phases of his return from the injuries, he has scored only three goals in 16 appearances in all competitions with none in the Barclays Premier League.
It was sad to see the striker struggling to find his touch in front of the goal, which was very normal after such horrible injuries but more saddening because it seemed like the player was just beginning to fulfill his potential as a striker after his fantastic displays in the 2013/14 season. Rodriguez was a regular in the Saints starting lineup since his move to the St. Mary’s from Burnley. Despite having made the move from the Championship to the top tier of English football, the 27-year-old adapted well in his first season scoring 6 times in the league while providing 5 assists as well in 2012/13.
The next season proved to be the most productive in the striker’s career, as he struck 15 times in the Premier League making his presence felt earning praises alongside his first ever international call up. Unfortunately, right at the end of that very season he suffered a damning injury and has struggled to make an impact since.
Recently, reports have surfaced claiming that West Brom boss Tony Pulis is ready to take a gamble on the 27-year-old by securing a loan deal for the player before the deadline day of the particular window. The Baggies do need some firepower up front, Rodriguez would provide a decent option for Pulis upfront but with the new manager in at Southampton in the summer, it should hold to keep onto the player and give him more chances this season.
Claude Puel would be better off with a striker in his ranks who has the experience and has delivered in the past scoring a decent number of goals at the club. While it might be argued that a move to West Brom won’t be a bad one for Rodriguez, there’s no doubt about the fact that the 27-year-old certainly deserves his chances at the St. Mary’s after his injury nightmares.