According to the express, Sam Gallagher will prove to be a wanted man this summer, with Aston Villa reportedly interested in lodging a £3m bid.
Steve Bruce won’t be short of competition for Gallagher’s signature however, with Sunderland, Sheffield United, and Cardiff also rumoured to be in the race to sign the 21-year-old.
Gallagher has been in fine form so far this season, netting 10 goals in 35 Championship appearances, placing a number of experienced players out of the the Rovers starting XI.
This goal record is made all the more impressive when you consider that this is only Gallagher’s second pop at the Championship, and he’s doing so in a relegation dog fight. Many would suggest that in such a situation, experienced players are the ones you should turn to, but Gallagher is certainly proving to be an exception.
During a recent interview with Rovers playerHD, Rovers boss Tony Mowbray heaped praise upon the young talisman’s performances in blue and white.
“The supporters won’t necessarily know his personality but he looks you right in the eye and he wants to work hard, he wants to be a better footballer, he wants to listen and try and improve every day.
“They are fantastic qualities for a young guy to have really, he knows he’s not the finished article, he’s not sure about when to play deep away from defenders, when to use his physicality up against them, and when to use his speed.
“He’s got some fantastic attributes that are going to make him a hell of a footballer in a few years time. A guy who can do everything, out-strength you, out-run you. Hopefully he can become cleverer with his movement, he is going to be some player.”
Mowbray even went on to praise Southampton’s handling of the youngster, stating “I think his club have done right in letting him go and play games, otherwise the development is not as fast in the Under-23 league. So we are delighted we’ve got him.”
The bottom line however, is that Gallagher is obviously still a Southampton player, and therefore, there is a big decision to be made this summer.
Southampton Football Club prides itself on it’s youth development, and if they had their own way, then Gallagher would of course be successfully eased into the first team. But Gallagher can only be as good as the opportunities handed to him, and with a current frontline of Manolo Gabbiadini, Shane Long, Jay Rodriguez, and Charlie Austin, opportunities would certainly be arriving at a premium.
It’s also worth considering the fact that Gallagher has thrived upon regular competitive football, which is something that he is highly unlikely to receive at Southampton. Returning to his parent club may in fact stunt his development.
On top of this, with Claude Puel’s need for a more technically able striker in the side, Ryan Seager may well be the preferred option in Southampton’s current system.
When this summer arrives, I simply hope that Southampton can find the greatest path for Gallagher to continue his recent development – something I know that our club will whole heartedly be behind.