Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Out Of Form Southampton First Team Star Picks Up Injury On International Duty: Blessing In Disguise?

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Anirban Sarkar
Anirban Sarkar is a former columnist of The 4th Official. A huge East Bengal fan and has travelled over 1000 miles to see his team in action.

Shane Long has had a distraught spell in the Premier League so far. The Ireland international and Southampton striker has had a scarcity of goals and to make things worse, he is set to be on the sidelines, for what seems to be a lengthy period.

The Ireland frontman suffered a hip injury which had ruled him out from his country’s influential World Cup qualifier against Wales. Ireland edged out Wales 1-0 to make all the way to the playoffs. The injury came at the wrong time for Southampton as well as they have been struggling for goals of late.

Mauricio Pellegrino has had a difficult start to the campaign and the injury has piled more misery on him. Long has been the preferred choice for the gaffer but now, he has to fill in the position with other players.

However, the striker had a long run without goals and the injury could be a boon in disguise for the player. The 30-year-old looked short of confidence in recent times and the break could help him in bringing his lost confidence back.

Not just goals, the player is also highly regarded for his other aspects of the game. He is very good with his link-up play and can hold the ball for to steer the pace of the game.

The Saints do have a very coveted attacking lineup and losing Long means a chance for the squad players to use the situation to the full force. Both Charlie Austin and Manolo Gabbiadini have their different styles of play and will be available for selection.

Long last found the net in February against Sunderland and the current situation at the club is proving to be a difficult task for him. Gabbiadini lit the Premier League on fire last season having arrived from Serie-A. The Italian international took very little time to adjust and scored six goals in a late surge of form.

Gabbiadini did his duty quite dedicatedly but the arrival of Pellegrino has been neither good nor bad for him. He has started four games this season and has found the net a single time.

Similarly, Charlie Austin hasn’t been utilised much and this could be the best chance for him to gain a foothold in the first team yet again. The former Queens Park Rangers frontman has a very good record of goals but injuries have been a block in his career.

However, he will have the chance to prove his credentials and the Saints shouldn’t have a problem dealing with the absence of Long, in all fairness.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

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