It looks as though Southamp­ton will have to pre­pare for life with­out Che Adams, who is out of con­tract in the sum­mer.

Adams is being linked with a move to the Pre­mier League today and it appears he has decid­ed against renew­ing his con­tract at St Mary’s.

After almost five years on the South Coast, mak­ing 180 appear­ances and scor­ing just shy of a half-cen­tu­ry of goals, the Scot­land inter­na­tion­al pre­pares to bid farewell.

With 10 games remain­ing of the sea­son, it will like­ly be the last Saints fans see of him, so what bet­ter way to go out than with a pro­mo­tion medal.

Ordi­nar­i­ly, Southamp­ton would have to dive into the trans­fer mar­ket and find a replace­ment, how­ev­er, there is already an ide­al heir wait­ing in the wings.

Ross Stewart can replace Che Adams

Southampton FC v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship
Pho­to by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Get­ty Images

The South Coaters out­laid an ini­tial £8m plus £4m in poten­tial add-ons for Ross Stew­art last sum­mer, who depart­ed Sun­der­land hav­ing net­ted 40 times in 80 appear­ances.

The 27-year-old joined with lots of promise and, at the time, it was con­sid­ered a real state­ment addi­tion from Southamp­ton.

Direc­tor of foot­ball Jason Wilcox was delight­ed with his addi­tion, speak­ing in Sep­tem­ber: “Ross is a real­ly dynam­ic and intel­li­gent play­er, so we’re delight­ed to have added him to the group.

“His form and devel­op­ment over the past cou­ple of sea­sons have been very impres­sive, and we’re con­fi­dent this will be a great place for him to con­tin­ue that.

“He’s got a fan­tas­tic work-rate and he’s a great char­ac­ter too, so we believe he’ll be a real­ly pop­u­lar addi­tion and an excel­lent fit for us.”

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, as they did in the pre­vi­ous sea­son, injuries have plagued Stew­art and he’s been reduced to just two Cham­pi­onship appear­ances this term.

He isn’t expect­ed to return before the end of the cam­paign, how­ev­er, Saints fans could see him back in action in pre-sea­son.

Should he keep him­self fit over the sum­mer and get him­self back up to speed in the friend­lies, Rus­sell Mar­tin will have a ready-made Adams replace­ment for next sea­son.

If he can get back to the form he showed at Sun­der­land, he could even be an upgrade on Adams in many ways.

Ross Stewart compared to Che Adams

Stew­art has a much bet­ter goals-per-game ratio than Adams, though, admit­ted­ly he has played at a low­er lev­el. The 6’2″ cen­tre-for­ward aver­ages a goal every 2.69 games, where­as, Adams aver­ages 3.7.

Indeed, Adams’ game is much more than scor­ing goals, but notwith­stand­ing that, it’s an inter­est­ing com­par­i­son to make.

In a Rus­sell Mar­tin sys­tem, Stew­art wouldn’t be able to oper­ate on the flanks like the for­mer Birm­ing­ham City for­ward has.

So, from that per­spec­tive, it seems if the Saints are to dip into the mar­ket to replace Adams, they may be best look­ing for a more ver­sa­tile for­ward, who has expe­ri­ence play­ing as a left winger.

It’s been a long road for Stew­art, but with pre-sea­son near­ing, and Adams depart­ing, it’s set up per­fect­ly for him to hit the ground run­ning in August.

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