SAM Gallagher’s top form on loan at Blackburn Rovers has fuelled calls for him to come back to aid Saints’ attack.

Gallagher was loaned out to the Championship club at the start of the season and has netted seven goals in 17 appearances.

The 21-year-old’s latest strike came in a 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday, which sparked Saints fans on social media to call for him to return to St Mary’s.

Although, Rovers boss Owen Coyle has stated that he would “love” to sign Gallagher permanently.

Gallagher had been rated as one of the next best talents to come out of Saints’ academy and made 20 appearances for the first team under Mauricio Pochettino in 2013/14.

He scored twice that term, netting in an FA Cup tie against Yeovil and bagging a Premier League goal against Norwich.

However, following a serious knee injury, his progress slowed and he hasn’t appeared for Saints’ first team for more than two years - when he came on in the 1-1 home draw with Manchester United in May 2014.

He had an unsuccessful loan spell at MK Dons last term, failing to score in 15 appearances.

But he has found his feet at Ewood Park and has been tipped to become a “bona fide Premier League player” by his manager, Coyle.

“I do believe in time he’s going to be a bona fide Premier League player,” he said.

“It’s the likes of Sam Gallagher that, as a manager, you’d be looking to invest in.”

Gallagher netted a superb header against Steve Bruce’s side at the week- end but couldn’t prevent struggling Rovers, who are second to bottom in the Championship, from defeat at Villa Park.