Southampton are going to have to do without in-form striker Charlie Austin for the next four months.
The Englishman is set to need surgery on a dislocated shoulder he sustained in the Saints’ 1-1 draw with Hapoel Be’er Sheva last week, a result which put them out of the Europa League.
Arguably though, the loss of Austin for up to four months is a larger disappointment for Southampton fans, who have watched the former Burnley and QPR man net six Premier League goals this season, and nine in all competitions.
However, Claude Puel’s side bounced back from their frustrating evening on Thursday with a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough on Sunday, thanks to a fantastic 25-yard strike from record signing Sofiane Boufal, a player we may see more of over the coming months deputising for Austin.
Jay Rodriguez also got a rare start at the weekend for Puel and, with Shane Long also on the books, the Frenchman may feel that he has enough firepower to compensate for Austin’s injury.
However, many feel that another forward is needed, so here are THREE that could replace Austin at St Mary’s…