After the emergence of multiple recent reports, it seems that Southampton are swooping in for Barcelona striker Paco Alcacer as they look to add some quality up front, a void that hasn’t been filled in the last two seasons. The Spaniard has spent two seasons at the Camp Nou but has found game time limited whilst at the Catalan club.
The fee currently understood is set to be in the region of £20m, £7m less than what Barcelona paid Valencia for the striker’s services just two summers ago. However, Southampton’s fiercest competitors seem to be Turkish outfit Fenerbache but it’s also believed that newly-promoted Wolves and Everton could intervene and attempt to obtain the Spaniard’s signature.
After his move from Valencia in summer 2016, Alcacer was hot property and someone who seemed like a potential competitor for Luis Suarez to maintain his spot upfront. Having scored 29 goals in just two seasons for Valencia, Alcacer moved to Barcelona with a real spring in his step following two successful campaigns.
However, with the incredible quality and depth of Barcelona’s squad, the Spaniard has found game time limited and has fallen down the pecking order, featuring just 17 times in La Liga this term, most of which came from the bench.
Despite limited playing time for the newly-reigned La Liga champions, the striker hasn’t fared too badly in his two seasons in Catalonia, scoring 15 goals in 51 appearances (we also have to remember that most of his involvement came from the bench).
At 24, the striker is still young and a move to the Premier League could be exactly what the striker needs in order to reignite what was, and still could be a very promising career. But how would the Spaniard fit into the current Southampton squad?
Despite making three fewer appearances and playing less due to substitute appearances as opposed to starting matches, Alcacer actually scored the same amount of goals as our top scorer Charlie Austin last season with seven goals in all competitions. Manolo Gabbiadini was our second most prolific striker with 5 goals (however the Italian played seven times more than Austin) but some may say that he wasn’t given a good chance last term under Mauricio Pellegrino.
Alcacer has also been a representative of Spain at all youth levels, scoring six goals for the senior side in 13 appearances. However, he was not selected by Spain boss and Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid successor Julen Lopetegui for this summer’s World Cup.
It’s without a doubt that Alcacer would bring plenty of quality up front for Saints who need a goalscorer to be added to their ranks after the horror show in front of goal last season, scoring just 37 goals in the 38-game Premier League season.
We’ll see how this one plays out but with no World Cup to go to, the striker may want to make a decision on his future soon…