Chelsea talent Armando Broja’s loan spell at Southampton this season has seen him become a genuine option for the Blues’ attack next season. And recent comments made by Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl have strengthened those beliefs, with the Austrian delighted with Broja’s impact from the bench in their 3-1 win over West Ham on Wednesday.
The Saints went marching in to the FA Cup quarter-finals with a win over the Hammers after goals from Romain Perraud, James-Ward Browse and Broja under the lights at St. Mary’s.
The 20-year-old found himself on the bench despite being a mainstay in the starting XI over the last few months, with Hasenhuttl stating that his poor recent showings were the reason.
But the Albanian international’s goal in added time prompted a positive response from his boss, who praised his performance and attitude to being dropped.
And it could be positive news for Chelsea next season given their lack of striking prowess at the moment.
“This is what a sub has to do, coming on the pitch, you need this impact,” Hasenhuttl said.
“He was a big threat last time against West Ham and this time was the same, he likes to play against them.
“After the last two not so perfect games, it was again a good performance.
“There are still games when he maybe takes a little bit, but I think maybe he was a bit angry taking a kick to his face and if this is needed, he can have it.”
Chelsea are in need of one more striker in their ranks given Romelu Lukaku’s failure to positively impact the Premier League so far this season.
The Belgian joined for £98million in the summer from Inter Milan after an outstanding 47 goals in just 72 league games for the Nerazzuri.
But he has just five Premier League goals to his name this season, with just two of those coming since September 11.
Broja has yet to appear prominently for the Blues, having made a solitary four-minute cameo appearance in March 2020 in a 4-0 win over Everton at Stamford Bridge.
The Slough-born forward has scored six goals in just 14 league starts for Hasenhuttl’s men.
And having sold Tammy Abraham to Roma in the summer, Thomas Tuchel will be hoping Broja can come in next season and play a more important role in their bid to win the Premier League.
The Blues take on relegation candidates Burnley on Saturday.