Southampton Opinion: Thomas Goiginger can offer good value for money
The Daily Mail understands that the 26-year-old winger has been on the radar of the Saints since January, and while Linz are reluctant to part ways with their prized asset, the chance to play in the Premier League certainly appeals to the player.
The same source claims that the Saints are weighing up a £5 million deal to lure Goiginger to English football in a bid to add much-needed firepower to their attacking ranks ahead of the upcoming season.
The 26-year-old has been in tremendous form for LASK Linz this term and has enjoyed the most prolific season of his career by a long margin. Goiginger has racked up a staggering 14 goals and 17 assists in 40 appearances across all competitions this season, numbers which are quite outstanding for a wide player playing in any league.
Goiginger’s scintillating run of form earned him his first ever call-up to Austria’s national team for the UEFA Nations League games against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Northern Ireland, although he remained an unused substitute in both the fixtures.
The 26-year-old has progressed by leaps and bounds this season and has been one of the key driving forces behind LASK Linz’s surge to 2nd in the Austrian Bundesliga standings, just behind giants Red Bull Salzburg. His heroics haven’t gone unnoticed by Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who has expressed his desire to bring his compatriot to St. Mary’s.
Essentially a right-winger by trade, Goiginger is capable of playing out on either flank and also as an attacking midfielder through the centre.
Fast and skilful with plenty of drive and determination, the Austrian is more than capable of ripping defences apart with his acceleration and trickery, while also boasting of good goalscoring prowess. To add to that, he has a penchant for coming up with key passes in the final third, as evident from his numbers.
To put things into perspective, Thomas Goiginger is neither amongst the household names in Europe, nor is he a full international for Austria, but Hasenhuttl must have seen something very special in the player. The Saints certainly need to bolster their attacking options and Goiginger could prove to be a useful addition for a thrifty price.
Southampton were tottering in the bottom half of the table when Hasenhuttl took charge and the Austrian deserves all the credit for steering the club out of the relegation zone. However, the need for bringing in attacking reinforcements was quite apparent over the course of the past season given that the Saints managed to score only 45 goals in the Premier League.
The Saints have hardly had any luck with their big-money signings in recent times, with the likes of Guido Carrillo, Sofiane Boufal, Jordy Clasie and Mohamed Elyounoussi failing to deliver the goods. Hence, they should now look at bargain deals in the market and Thomas Goiginger might offer good value for money.
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There is always an element of risk involved in signing players from the lesser leagues in Europe, but at £5 million, it won’t be a big gamble for the Saints. That said, Southampton should go forward with the deal if they are really confident about the player’s abilities.