Rickie Lambert enjoyed a dream first week of the season, netting late winners for England and Southampton, but he faces a challenge to remain top dog at the Saints after the capture of Pablo Osvaldo.
The Italian striker is 6/4 to be Southampton’s top scorer, and considering Osvaldo’s recent record and prior relationship with Mauricio Pochettino, he is a smart choice.
In each of his past four seasons, two with Roma and two with Espanyol, Osvaldo has been his club’s top scorer, and he finished third in the overall Serie A standings with 16 goals last year, behind only Edinson Cavani and Antonio Di Natale.
Osvaldo’s previous best season was at Espanyol under Pochettino, when he scored 13 times in 24 league matches, and no doubt the Argentine manager was an important factor in the striker’s decision to join Southampton.
Pochettino is likely to adjust his line-up to include both Lambert and Osvaldo, and with the England international offering more to the team’s build-up play, he could drop in behind to play a support role.
In bringing in Osvaldo for approximately £15m, Southampton broke their transfer record for the second time this summer following the arrival of Victor Wanyama.
The Saints clearly have their eyes fixed on at least a top half finish this season, and they are worth backing at 4/5 to accomplish this feat.
Far from a shrinking violet, Osvaldo has the tenacity and ability to settle quickly in the Premier League and there is no doubt he will be aiming to establish himself as Pochettino’s leading man this season.
Lambert’s record speaks for itself, but he could turn provider as often as he scores himself in a partnership with Osvaldo, and the Italian will top his new club’s scoring charts.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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