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Che Adams: Profile of struggling but talented Southampton striker

Che Adams may have only joined Southampton in the summer of 2019. But the young English striker has been linked to Leeds United, according to multiple outlets, this January in one of this windows most on again, off again potential moves.

The Championship side are aiming to return to the Premier League for the first time since 2003/04, and Marcelo Bielsa’s side are currently top of the league. 2 points above promotion rivals West Brom. But they are looking for attacking reinforcements as on-loan striker Eddie Nketiah has been recalled by Arsenal. Adams has seen limited playing time under Ralph Hasenhuttl this year, making 18 appearances and providing 1 assist. Significantly worse numbers than last season with Birmingham City, where he bagged 22 goals in 46 games.

Those numbers caught the eye of a number of clubs last season, and are the reason Leeds have been pursuing him this January.

Che Adams – Style of Play

The former Sheffield United striker played as a true centre forward at Birmingham, without doubt his best position. It utilises his combination of finishing ability with excellent strength and hold up play. He excels at occupying central defenders and laying the ball off to teammates, even if his overall passing ability is fairly average.

The 23 year old’s hold up play is complemented by his excellent spatial awareness, as he is absolutely lethal on the turn from the top of the box, either by rolling defenders or being able to create space for himself to get a shot off. He always knows where the goal is and doesn’t hesitate to shoot if he has a good opportunity.

It’s this goal-scoring ability and instinct, combined with his strength and his speed, that make him such an appealing option. Unfortunately though, it hasn’t worked out at the Saints thus far. The obvious player comparison is Watford’s club legend Troy Deeney. He’s been able to take those natural skills and physical attributes to develop into a well rounded forward with an excellent goal record in the Premier League.

Some improvements needed

Adams still needs some polishing. His passing is average, and dribbling is sometimes choppy, potentially suffering against quicker defenders. The former England U20 international makes intelligent runs after passing the ball. But he can be limited by his instinct to stay central, preferring to occupy the central defenders instead of pulling them to the touchline.

Che Adams in action for Southampton

The forward’s heading ability could use some time on the training ground too. He isn’t a target man and doesn’t often get on the ends of crosses either. It will be interesting to see how he develops, as his natural athletic abilities and ability to finish from anywhere are a tantalising starting point for any striker. Despite the flaws in his game.

A future at St Mary’s?

It’s clear that Southampton recognises this potential, with the club having rejected a reported three bids from The Peacocks. They’ve brought in Leipzig’s highly rated Jean-Kevin Augustin on loan for the remainder of the season. But don’t be surprised if Che Adams is on the move in the summer. Whether his future is at St Mary’s or Elland Road, only time will tell…

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