Saints striker Graziano Pelle is hoping to break into the Italy squad next month – and believes he deserves to be considered by his country.

The 29-year-old has burst onto the Premier League scene after his summer move from Feyenoord, with Saturday’s decisive wonder strike against QPR taking his goal tally for the season to five.

Pelle, who is yet to earn a senior international call-up, was included by Italy coach Antonio Conte on a preliminary list for the friendly with Holland and the Euro 2016 qualifier against Norway earlier this month, although he did not make the final squad.

The forward will be under consideration again for the upcoming qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Malta, and, while he does not think he has a right to be included, he is pleased Conte is looking at him and feels he has warranted being on the radar.

“I believe in myself,” said Pelle. “If I was not even inside a small thought of the trainer it would be strange.

“I’m doing well and I know by myself when I deserve something, when not.

“I deserve to be considered in the national team at this moment, but I don’t pretend to be selected. There are other players that deserve like I do.

“At the end of the list it is only five offensive players that will be in the selection, and to be in the five in all of Italy is not easy. We know how many good players Italy has.

“I’m just happy with what I’m doing and until now, for nine years after I was an under-21, I’ve never been in the national team.

“Of course, I (would) like it, but for me now the focus is to do good with Southampton and if it will come I am going to be super happy to be on.”

Pelle’s decisive strike on Saturday was a remarkable one, receiving the ball via a cushioned Dusan Tadic header, flicking it up while his back was to goal, and arcing an audacious acrobatic volley over QPR keeper Rob Green.

The effort earned Saints a 2-1 win – their sixth successive victory in all competitions – and ensured they remained second in the Premier League table.

“I scored nice goals in the last two years in Holland, but this is one of the top,” said Pelle. “Usually Dusan, when the ball comes to him, he uses his body to bring it onto his left (foot), but I saw him make a small look on my side.

“We like to play with each other and I just feel it that he’s going to pass to me with the head.

“Usually, he likes always to bring it onto his feet, but I expected it and I scored an amazing goal – I am very happy.”

So, was Pelle’s flick and volley purely instinctive, or did he plan it like that as the ball approached?

According to him, it was the latter.

“I do often these things during training,” he said. “I like to do that.”