New Southampton signing Pablo Osvaldo may have been prolific in La Liga and more recently Serie A, but competition for the centre-forward spot at St Mary’s, along with the explosive nature of the new man’s personality may mean that the 17/20 about him mustering less than 12.5 goals in the Premier League this term is a more than worthy wager.
Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino knows all about the talents of Osvaldo having managed him for a season-and-a-half at former-club Espanyol, where the Italian-Argentinean bagged a handsome 22 goals in 47 appearances.
His subsequent move to Roma merely precipitated an upturn in productivity, with 27 goals in 55 league appearances – despite regularly falling foul of controversy during his time with the Giallorossi – but he’ll find goals harder to come by in the Premier League.
The English top flight is a tougher competition than its Italian equivalent, as evidenced by the fact that English sides are ranked second behind only Spain’s in UEFA’s coefficients based upon European club success – Italy is ranked some way back in fourth.
27-year-old Osvaldo’s past scoring record suggests that this in no way a customer whom we should expect to be a 20-goal striker. His final season in Italy is one of only two campaigns during his entire career in which he has notched more than 12 league goals and he has never produced more than last term’s 16.
At Southampton he will have to duel with Ricky Lambert for the centre-forward berth.
The recent England debutant notched 17-times last season in the English top flight and will be hard to usurp, so he may start his Southampton career on one of the wings of Pochettino’s preferred 4-3-3 instead.
Finally discipline has long been a problem for Osvaldo, who has amassed eight bookings and three sendings-off in just the last two seasons, so suspensions look an inevitable variable to take into account with his goal total wager.