January 26, 2018 / 2:43 AM / a year ago

Southampton striker Carrillo eager to spark club's attack

Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Nantes vs Monaco - The Stade de la Beaujoire - Louis Fonteneau, Nantes, France - November 29, 2017 Monaco's Guido Carrillo REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

(Reuters) - Southampton’s new striker Guido Carrillo says he has the qualities required to rejuvenate the club’s misfiring attack as they bid to climb out of the Premier League’s relegation zone in the second half of the season.

Southampton, who are 18th in the table on 22 points, a point from safety, signed the Argentine from French club AS Monaco on Thursday for a reported club record fee of about 19 million pounds ($26.94 million).

The south coast club have struggled up front with 24 goals in as many league games and Charlie Austin, their top scorer with six goals, is out injured while fellow forwards Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long have contributed four goals between them.

“I’m an attacking player that can lead the line and bring others into play,” the 26-year-old Carrillo told the club’s website (southamptonfc.com). “I like to be active in and around the box to put away chances.”

The powerful forward spent 2-1/2 years at Monaco, helping them win the French title and reach the Champions League semi-finals last season. He worked with Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino during their time at Argentina’s Estudiantes in 2015.

“I am someone that will give my all, try my hardest and do whatever is asked of me by the manager,” Carrillo added. “I will show what I am about, I think we have good players and I think we can improve things.”

Southampton are winless in their last 11 league games, losing five times in that period.

“Southampton have had a lot of games in a short space of time and if you look at the table, six points separates seven or eight teams in the table,” Carrillo said. “Hopefully we can win two or three games in a row and keep going that way.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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