Since arriving from Napoli in January, Manolo Gabbiadini has done quite well ,scoring six goals in 10 appearances.

However, the 25-year-old hasn’t scored in his last five league appearances since returning from injury, and wasn’t even in the squad that beat Middlesbrough 2-1 at the weekend.

With Shane Long and Charlie Austin also competing for a slot in the team, it remains to be seen whether all three will still be at the club next year, especially if certain targets become available in the summer.


One of those could be Real Madrid’s Mariano Diaz, who was reported to be an alternative for Claude Puel in January had he not managed to sign Gabbiadini from Napoli.

The 23-year-old forward is, according to Sport in Spain, going to spend next season away from the Santiago Bernabéu, as the Champions League champions plan four exits and look to get him some first-team football, something he has struggled to find this year.

The plan is to loan him out, as it seems Zinedine Zidane remains keen on keeping the Dominican Republic international in his plans for the future, which was made clear when he signed a five year deal when he moved up from Castilla last summer.

Whether Southampton rekindle their interest remains to be seen, but with three strikers all vying for game time, and those not named Gabbiadini thinking they deserve to be key player at this stage in their career, bringing in a youngster on loan to replace one of them could be a smart move.

Especially a young player determined to prove his worth.