With little evidence suggesting that Southampton’s goalscoring woes will soon come to an end, reports of interest in Atletico Madrid’s, Luciano Vietto, have once again resurfaced.
According to numerous sources, Atletico Madrid are ready to cash in on Vietto this January, after his two-year spell with the club has failed to take either party forward.
The 23-year-old striker was considered to be a high priority transfer for Southampton last summer, but due to a situation outside of the club’s control, any hope of a potential move was soon ruled out.
The issue at hand was the complicated matter of resolving Diego Costa’s future, who had been banished from Antonio Conte’s Chelsea plans, and went AWOL to force a reunion with Diego Simeone.
When Southampton made their push for the Argentinian forward, it was late on in the window and a resolution to Costa’s situation seemed far from over – forcing Simeone to take no risks in waving goodbye to Vietto.
Since the window closed however, a deal has been struck between the two European giants, and Costa will now make his return to La Liga when the transfer window re-opens (January).
This is music to the ears of Les Reed and Mauricio Pellegrino, as the arrival of Costa will consequently make room for the departure of Vietto, who has since become surplus to requirements.
As for the qualities of the player himself, he seems to fit the Southampton transfer blueprint down to a T; he’s got time on his side, boasts serious technical ability, and is being poached from a European powerhouse (a common theme amongst recent Saints transfers).
During Vietto’s time in La Liga, he’s shown that he works best when playing just off another forward, using his close control, passing ability and illusive movement to ask questions of the oppositions defence.
In theory, I could imagine him deployed just behind Manolo Gabbiadini, being used to help battle the isolation our Italian forward is currently facing.
But whilst this looks like a tempting transfer and one that we would chase, I’m not sure if it’s exactly what we need. Whilst Vietto showed fine promise during his days at Villarreal, he’s since recorded just seven goals in his last 40 appearances for Atletico and Sevilla.
My only worry is that Southampton boast too many “maybe’s” and “what if’s” in their frontline at the minute, and they simply need a proven goalscorer – something Vietto can’t promise to be.