Southampton FC have been ambitious but unsuccessful so far in the summer transfer window. There moves for Pablo Osvaldo of Roma, Victor Wanyama of Celtic and Leandro Damiao of Internacional and Tottenham Hotspur transfer rumour fame all fizzled out as quickly as they materialised.
Last summer a mix of money, persistence and flattery saw The Saints beat many a European rival to the signature of Uruguayan starlet Gaston Ramirez and they should certainly be ready to continue those attributes a year later.
So while they may have lost out on the Italian, Kenyan and Brazilian internationals; I propose they go for a Paraguayan one.
No I don’t mean they should join the litany of clubs from around the globe going after Roque Santa Cruz; the former Blackburn man just flicking through travel brochures to decide which area looks the nicest to settle into early retirement.
I am being far bolder. Why not go for Oscar Cardozo of SL Benfica?
I know what you are thinking. Has he gone mad, bonkers, whacky? And the answer is perhaps partially yes; but my rebuttal would be…
‘’Didn’t we all say that about Ramirez last summer?’’
Cardozo is well known to want a move away from Benfica after deciding on a new challenge and it is a long held belief that he wants to sample the Premier League at some point in his career.
In the past he has been linked with Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea but the most recent team to reportedly record an interest in the player was…Cardiff City.
Now no offence to Cardiff who are being equally as ambitious in the transfer market this summer (and good for them I am all for it) but The Saints could certainly rival them for Cardozo.
He is likely to set them back in advance of £15 million but what they would be getting is a footballer who lives and breathes scoring goals.
He has scored 224 goals in 390 appearances throughout his career and while yes I understand that he has a minimum fee release clause of €60 million I refuse to believe that Benfica will ask for that much; or anything near it for the 30-year-old.
But won’t the language barrier be a problem? Well no because the manager and half the backroom staff at St Marys are Spanish so he will be speaking his native tongue half the time.
While he may not be the most hard-working of players on the planet he has a goalscoring record that not even Rickie Lambert can touch; and the pair of them in the same squad is a frightening thought.
If Southampton truly believe they can make it into Europe within the next couple of years they need to think big; and they don’t come much bigger than the mercurial 6ft 4ins Paraguayan.
image: © Crystian Cruz