Armando Broja must start every game
There is no doubting the pace, nor indeed the endeavour of Adam Armstrong and last night’s game was no different. That said, Southampton lacked any real edge in the final third until Tella and Armstrong were replaced by Broja and Elyounoussi late on. In the post Ings era, goals up top have been difficult to find and had the former Southampton number 9 been present last night in the red and white ranks, the game could have been over by half time.
As with the goal keeping situation, the striker options of Broja, Adams and Armstrong bring a range of different strengths. This includes the physicality, hold up and instinctive play of Adams, the speed and work rate of Armstrong and the directness of Broja. Combine the three players into a single striker and there’s a world class player there.
Broja is the only one of the three who has the potential to be a top class goal scorer, who will score consistently and at the tender age of 20 years old, he will only improve the more he plays. He was superb in the final 20 minutes, causing Leicester problems with his willingness to run at them with the ball, whilst his unusual gait and long strides make him hard to read.
The best strikers make something happen out of nothing and the boy from Slough has the ability to create problems through his mere presence. Broja isn’t the hardest working member of the starting squad and in some respects, it makes sense why he doesn’t fit Hasenhuttl’s model of pressing high up the pitch.
On the other hand, starting Broja would bring a goal threat which feels painfully absent from the side currently and by playing him alongside the under rated Che Adams, the slight loss in work rate would be less noticeable. Adams is the archetypal form striker, capable of purple patches of relatively prolific scoring but also culpable of missing gilt edged chances that elderly relatives could convert from their rocking chairs.
There is a reluctance to put all of the eggs in the Broja basket, especially given he is on loan and a very different player to those who fit the system in place. But if Southampton don’t seek to start their most potent goal threat, it will be hard to harbour aspirations above their current position.