Graziano Pellè is a striker that divides opinion. His first season at Southampton saw him score regularly at the start, before a lengthy spell through the winter without no goals was ended in April.
His season so far follows that pattern; grabbing six goals before November was a decent start, but the Italian hasn't scored since netting the second in the 2-0 win over AFC Bournemouth.
Injury and a formation change has meant he is no longer the first name on the teamsheet, and with his current deal expiring in July 2017, it is a good time as any to ask this:
Is Graziano Pellè's time at Southampton coming to an end?
Yes. I hate to say it, because I really like Graziano, but he's more of nuisance than anything because he's so beloved by Ronald Koeman. I wish we could take advantage of any possible fee that we could get for him at this point. I respect Graziano, and his desire to go home, but yes, his time is up at Southampton.
If it isn't up just yet, then Pellè's time rapidly drawing to a close: It's worth noting that Graziano is 31 in a matter of months.
While he's been a good purchase, taking into account his transfer fee, he's only ever realistically been a stop-gap. If Saints are serious about pushing for European football and being regular contenders for the top 6/8 spots in the league, then Pellè is not good enough.
Far too frequently I find myself frustrated at his over-elaborate attempts to control the ball or play a pass. Beyond that, far too often his passing is erratic and his finishing lacks composure.
But ignoring the aspects of his actual play, the thing that irks me the most is his attitude. At time he just shrugs, or chucks a glance at a teammate, or begins gesticulating and complaining either to or at his teammates.
While he was worth bringing to the club, the time for Saints to move on and find a new man to lead the line is edging nearer. That time should be this summer, in my opinion.
I'm a big fan of Pellè and think he gets way too much stick. He's quality at holding it up, has delivered a good return considering he was new to the league and overworked and plays with passion that some in the squad lack.
His fancy flicks have become annoying though (last game aside, where Ron rightly had a word), and his finishing is definitely erratic, but he's been a good player for us.
That said, I think he'll leave in the summer. If we can recoup some cash then it won't be a huge loss. I would like to see him replaced by someone very similar as a center forward has been so central to our success for a good few years.
I really like Graziano but I think his time will be up in the summer. He's into his thirties now and his contract will only have a year left come the end of the season. It makes sense to sell him in the summer, in my opinion.
On his day, he can be a defender's worst nightmare but if he has a bad game he is one of the most frustrating players to watch.
It seems as though his form is one of two complete polar opposites. He's either scoring goals game after game like the beginning of both seasons he's been here or extremely long droughts like the backend of last season and like the one he's in currently.
He's struggled with injuries this season and I think it makes sense to sell him this summer and purchase someone who can be more consistent than Graziano.
I'd like to see Pelle stay at the club and compete for the role of front man.
Austin is no doubt most likely to hold that position, but Pellè has proved he has tons of quality. He holds the ball up brilliantly, and his link up play has always been good.
His issue is that he seems to go off the boil a bit, and the goals dry up. So if he's looking to cement his place week in, week out, he's going to struggle.
I'd understand him moving on to pastures new to seek a starting place in a decent team, but I'd like if he stayed.