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Who will make way for Osvaldo?
Mauricio Pochettino has bought himself a very expensive headache – but one he will actually welcome.
The Saints boss has splashed out a fee that could rise to almost £15m for Italian striker Daniel Osvaldo in a move that has delighted and excited Saints fans in equal measure.
Osvaldo’s capture, taking Saints’ spending past the £30m mark for the second summer in a row, is a sure sign that the club are looking to progress.
But, inevitably, thoughts have immediately turned to exactly how the new man will get in the team.
No club smashes their transfer record for a player to merely add numbers to the squad and provide competition for places. They sign them to play.
Saints already have a pretty good striker. You may have heard him mentioned once or twice in the last week or so.
Rickie Lambert has been the mainstay of the attack for some time and, whilst there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that some quality cover was required for him, this is appears to be a very real threat to his place in the team.
What we don’t know at this stage is what Pochettino, right, has in mind, and whether this signing will give him that selection headache all managers welcome.
Assuming he will want Osvaldo in the team pretty quickly, is he thinking of using him instead of Lambert in that sole striker role?
That would of course be a risk, given Lambert’s proven goalscoring record, and harsh on him too, even if, as Jack Cork has discovered with the signing of Victor Wanyama, that can be the cost of progress.
Is Pochettino contemplating changing the system to play the two of them in tandem?
What a thought that would be, though it seems Pochettino is pretty comfortable with the 4-2-3-1 formation he has adopted and worked on with the squad during the summer, and they proved they know exactly how to play it now as they won at West Brom too.
Could Osvaldo fit in somewhere else?
Jay Rodriguez appeared as if he might be competition for Lambert when he arrived, known as he was as a striker, but has slotted in very nicely into one of the three attacking midfield roles off of the big man.
It would be odd if a week when Lambert marked his England debut with a goal, and then secured the winner as Saints opened their Premier League season with a victory, ended with his eventual replacement being signed.
But in football you can never stand still if you want to progress and Pochettino is well aware of that.
Just how he manages it will be interesting to see.
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