Southampton's season threatened to be tumultuous after a series of departures over the summer left them looking depleted.
However, after a number of impressive signings, they are looking strong despite the losses and a major reason for this has been the adeptness that Graziano Pelle has shown in replacing Rickie Lambert.
Lambert had spearheaded the Saints' attacking from their time in League One, with him bludgeoning defences to great success up and down the country.
His move to Liverpool, his boyhood club, was fine reward for the form which he had shown at St. Mary's, but Pelle has immediately proven that the England international is not irreplaceable.
The Italian front-man completed a move from the Eredivisie and there was a lot of scepticism about his transfer.
Although Pelle had an impressive goal-scoring record in Holland that does not always equate to being a success in the Premier League, but the 29-year-old is proving that he can hit the back of the net at whatever level.
Indeed, his form so far suggests that he is not only a replacement for Lambert but an upgrade.
|Season||Goals||Goal Assist||Shots GAME||Chances created GAME||Shots to goals||Passes GAME||Passing Accuracy||Touches GAME||Appearances||Mins Played|
Although Lambert possesses better passing accuracy, in every other department Pelle has been superior or is proving a match to his predecessor
Pelle is proving to be more clinical, having more shots per game, creating more chances and making more passes to his teammates than Lambert did last season and he is rapidly establishing himself as one of the most feared marksmen in England.
Ronald Koeman's side are already earning many admirers with the ease which they have adapted since losing the core of them which guided them to an eighth place finish and if they are to go better than that this time around, Pelle is proving that he will be key to their chances.