Jay Rodriguez primed to march into Saints’ top goalscorer spot
In the Croatian Dejan Lovren and the highly-rated Victor Wanyama, Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino has moved to give his team an added solidity this summer.
Such additions explain the Saints’ skinny price of 7/4 to finish in the top 10 and 1/11 to avoid relegation, and the Argentinean boss will also be pinning hopes on his strike force firing again in the coming campaign.
With 15 league goals, forward Rickie Lambert was the joint-highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League last season alongside Chelsea’s Frank Lampard.
The Scouser enjoyed a stellar first season at the highest level which even brought calls for him to be called into Roy Hodgson’s England squad, but the Saints were by no means a one-man team.
The Uruguayan Gaston Ramirez, young English captain Adam Lallana and the forward Jay Rodriguez all impressed as the Saints shrugged off the surprise sacking of Nigel Adkins to finish in a solid 14th place.
Rodriguez in particular caught the eye, even managing to match Lambert’s often prolific strike-rate in the final three months of the season.
Eyebrows may have been raised when the Saints shelled out £7m on the once-capped England under-21 man last summer, but having made the move from Burnley the forward adapted well to life in the top flight, scoring goals against the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea in the process.
At 7/2 to be Southampton’s top Premier League goalscorer in the forthcoming season, the 24-year-old looks good value to be a serious challenger to the 2/5 Lambert’s crown.
Rodriguez figured in all but five of the Saints’ league matches in the last campaign, when he scored nine times in all competitions.
If he can stay fit and keep on improving, then he has every chance of improving on that tally this time around.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication