Mauricio Pellegrino believes Guido Carrillo can fill the boots of injured striker Charlie Austin and help steer Saints towards Premier League safety.

Austin, still the club’s top scorer this season, is out for three months with a hamstring injury, and Saints have lacked a physical presence in attack since he was sidelined.

Carrillo, who will join for £19.2m from Monaco, is a tall and imposing forward, who Pellegrino has worked with during his time at Estudiantes.

Pellegrino believes the 26-year-old can be the answer to Saints’ problems.

He said: “I think that the main thing he has been working in Monaco more than two years in the top team, playing Champions League, high level.

“He’s a profile of player who can replace in this moment the profile of Charlie. A big body, can hold the ball, good in the air and can be good to help us to be stronger.

“Obviously it’s a plus that I knew him when he was really young. He was 19, at the beginning of his career.

“The plus is that he’s been working with a top team in Monaco and hopefully good news for us in the next two days.”

Carrillo has something of a mixed goal scoring record, and when asked whether he can settle into life in the Premier League and become a regular on the scoresheet, he replied: “You never know. It’s really difficult to sign players at this level, the top level.

“When you move one player to the other everything changes, the teammates, the culture, the methodology of the manager.

“Sometimes for some of them it’s better, sometimes the same, sometimes it’s worse.

“For this reason it’s not about big player with qualities, it’s about how we think the player can adapt.

“In one year’s time maybe we can analyse, but now it’s difficult.”

Saints are also working on further signings, with Spartak Moscow winger Quincy Promes still a potential £30m signing.

“I don’t know. We are waiting for some answers,” said Pellegrino of the potential Promes deal.

“Still we have another five or six days to keep working and pushing and after we see.

“He’s an important player but there are a lot of players I would like to bring.

“He’s one of the players we were following many times ago and it’s one possibility.”

Having raked in £75m from the sale of Virgil van Dijk, Saints have been under pressure to enter the transfer market.

Pellegrino is unsure whether the capture of Carrillo will prove to be business done for Saints, or if it will open the floodgates.

“It depends,” he admitted. “At the beginning we were thinking about three players, and after two.

“In players we think the profile we don’t have here and can improve the qualities in the squad.

“If we cannot maybe it’s one. Maybe it’s four. We don’t know.

“The quality is more important than the quantity.”