Chelsea target represents ideal Lambert replacement for new Southampton boss

Rickie Lambert

Southampton last confirmed that Dutchman Ronald Koeman is the club's new manager, and he could have his first transfer target lined up.

Koeman, 51, had an illustrious playing career but his stint as a manager has been somewhat inauspicious, struggling massively with Spanish side Valencia before rebuilding his reputation with Feyenoord, where he finished in second place last season before leaving the club for pastures new.

Now chosen as the man to replace Mauricio Pochettino at St. Mary's Stadium, Koeman already has a big task on his hands in trying to keep some of the clubs stars at the club, with Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana all expected to leave the South Coast this summer.

Yet he must already look to find a replacement for talismanic striker Rickie Lambert, who had been with the club throughout the club's ascent from League One to Premier League having arrived from Bristol Rovers in 2009. Now 32, the Saints simply couldn't refuse the striker a move to his boyhood club, as Liverpool came calling to sign the Scouser earlier this month.

Now Koeman must land a focal point to the Southampton attack; somebody who can dominate physically as Lambert has, and most importantly, somebody who can put the ball in the back of the net on a regular basis. Fortunately, the Dutchman has the ideal player in mind.

Feyenoord striker Graziano Pelle, who was linked with Chelsea during the season, has hit a stunning 55 goals in just 66 games for the Rotterdam outfit, becoming the key man in Koeman's attack - and he has already suggested that he will be his top target upon joining a new club,

"I want to bring Pelle to my next club," said Koeman. "I would love to have him there, as he would be worth every penny."

The cost could be up to £10m for the 28-year-old Italian, but he's immensely strong and potent in the air, and does have the technical attributes to replace Lambert too. Having worked so well under Koeman in Holland, Pelle's arrival at Southampton would be no surprise to anyone as they look to replace Lambert.

 

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