Guido Carrillo gave a taster of what he is all about during Monaco’s dramatic Ligue 1 clash with Troyes at the Stade Louis II at the start of December.
The reigning champions were 2-0 down at home to the visitors before Carrillo, a half-time substitute, turned the game on its head. A brilliant near-post run and flicked header levelled the scores with 15 minutes to go before he scrambled home a last-gasp winner to send the usually reserved manager Leonardo Jardim sprinting down the touchline.
When Carrillo is on the pitch, he tends to score. This is why both Southampton and Crystal Palace, two Premier League sides who have struggled badly for goals this season, have both expressed an interest in turning Monaco’s super sub into their star striker.
The Sun stated last week that the Saints had launched a £17.5 million opening bid for the 22-year-old, who worked with Mauricio Pellegrino at Estudiantes in Argentina. This comes less than a month after the Daily Mail stated that Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson had identified Carrillo as the striker to ease the pressure on Christian Benteke.
But the Mirror (live blog, 7.55am) is now reporting that Southampton are in pole position. It is understood that they are agreeing to meet his £50,000-a-week wage demands – a figure that put Crystal Palace off.
And with the Saints’ struggles in front of goal casting doubt over their Premier League status and putting intense pressure on the under-fire Pellegrino, the addition of a player who has averaged 1.08 goals or assists per game this season (more than Mo Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Neymar) will be welcome.