Sam Gallagher return saved Southampton spending

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Southampton youngster Sam Gallagher's return from injury could be the main reason that Ronald Koeman did not purchase another striker in the January transfer window.

There were murmurings amongst the Saints faithful that they needed an alternative to Graziano Pelle or backup for when he is unavailable.

However Koeman chose to sign Eljero Elia and Filip Djuricic, neither of which are out-and-out strikers.

That has paved the way for Gallagher to return to the first team squad immediately to put pressure on the Italian who has played a lot of football so far this season.

In at the deep end

The Scotland-born forward burst onto the scene last season when he was handed his first start against Arsenal at St. Mary's by Mauricio Pochettino.

He coped superbly well for such a high-profile game and at just 19-years-old he still has plenty of room for improvement.

Gallagher's return will be welcomed by Koeman who was struggling for striking options with Shane Long's recent injury ruling him out for a lengthy period.

Pelle burnout a genuine possibility

Graziano Pelle has started every Premier League game this season, and with cup games has featured 29 times so far.

Although in the modern game it is not inconceivable for a player to get through that many games, he will certainly be feeling the effects of it.

Gallagher's return from injury will allow Koeman to take Pelle off after 60-70 minutes if he needs to, something which he hasn't been able to do thus far without a similar option available.

Similar stature

Gallagher will also be able to replace Pelle's role in the team better than Shane Long due to his obvious physical advantage.

Gallagher is 6ft 4in and as such represents a target man figure who can spearhead the Southampton attack, just like his Italian teammate.

The England under-19 international has already shown the enthusiasm and endeavour that will see him welcomed back into the Southampton squad as they chase a Champions League position.

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