Southampton will have to pay a fee in the region of £10 million to sign Italy U21 international Lorenzo Lucca from Pisa in the January transfer window, as reported by QDS.
A second-half Armando Broja strike may have been enough to see off an under-par Leeds United on Saturday but one win – and one goal – is unlikely to quell Saints supporters’ fears as another season of struggle looms.
Only two teams in the division have scored fewer goals than Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side this season – and both of them, Norwich City and Burnley, are entrenched in the bottom three.
It would be unfair to pin too many hopes on 20-year-old Broja while Adam Armstrong, the striker signed to fill Danny Ings’ shoes in the summer, has failed to find the net since the opening day against Everton. However, his ongoing drought is more the result of a lack of service than anything else.
Attacking reinforcements would certainly be welcomed at St Mary’s, then, even if a 21-year-old striker snapped up from the second tier of Italian football would represent a substantial risk.
Lorenzo Lucca could solve Southampton’s striker problem
The 6ft 7in ‘Tower of Pisa’ has scored more goals on his own than Southampton’s entire side this season – six in just eight Serie B appearances. That’s twice as many as Ings has managed since joining Aston Villa too.
There was also a maiden strike for Italy U21s, something the eagle-eyed Roberto Mancini noted.
“He is strong. There will be an opportunity to have him with us (in the Italy first team),” said Mancini, who has handed chances to plenty of unproven youngsters during his time in the national hot seat.
According to QDS, Pisa would demand a fee in the region of £10 million for Lucca if Southampton came calling. Interestingly, Hasenhuttl admitted to the Daily Echo the Saints were prioritising players in the £10 million bracket a few months ago.
“I was amazed. I have never before seen a 2m striker who is, at the same time, dynamic, agile and skilful. He has a powerful shot, a la (Gabriel) Batistuta,” Renzo Castagnini, Lucca’s former sporting director at Palermo, told Tuttosport.
“He works to help his teammates, a bit like (Mario) Mandzukic. How many goals do I expect in Serie B? From 15 to 20.”