Matt Le Tissier has told Sky Sports that Southampton may have to dip into the January transfer market for a new striker.
There is, however, a long way to go if Champions League football is to be secured.
Preserving the best defensive record in the top-flight should help to edge them towards that target, but a threat must also be posed at the other end of the field.
Southampton have been doing that, but they are short on striking options.
The England international has been out since damaging cruciate knee ligaments in April and it is his absence which club legend Le Tissier believes will force Ronald Koeman to go looking for fresh faces.
He told Sky Sports News HQ on Wednesday: “Had Jay Rodriguez been fit, then I don’t think they would have looked to do any more business.
“I think because of that reason, and he may still be a few weeks away from getting back, then possibly another centre-forward might be the only other area that he’s looking at. If Pelle got injured, how are we looking? Possibly, that might be the bit that needs strengthening.”
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The Opta statistics above suggest that strengthening up top would be a good idea for the Saints.
Strength in depth could be crucial in the battle for Champions League qualification, with it vital that Koeman can freshen up his side if injuries, suspensions and tired legs begin to stack up.