Danny Ings, who joined Southampton from Liverpool on Thursday, could make his debut against another of his former clubs Burnley at the weekend, manager Mark Hughes said.
The 26-year-old striker joined Southampton on a season-long loan deal and will make the move permanent next year.
Ings spent nearly four years at Burnley before a 2015 switch to Liverpool, where he struggled to make an impact playing 14 games in three years due to injury problems.
“He’s fit and has had game time in pre-season,” Hughes told a news conference on Friday. “If I make that decision he’d be ready but we’ll see how he does in the next two days. But clearly he’s an option.”
Hughes said Ings was excited about the prospect of coming up against his former side at St Mary’s Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday.
“Clearly there’s enthusiasm from him. I’m sure he’d want to be part of that.”
The arrival of Ings, attacking midfielder Stuart Armstrong and winger Mohamed Elyounoussi in the close season is expected to boost a Southampton attack that scored just 37 goals in 38 league games last campaign.
“We needed to improve our ability to convert chances and create chances,” Hughes added. “(Now) we have to start playing, start scoring goals and winning games but we’re in a better position in terms of our attacking threat this year.”