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Aston Villa’s Anwar El Ghazi was shocking v Southampton in the Premier League

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith will be desperately looking over his shoulder after his team’s dismal defeat to Southampton in the Premier League on Friday night.

The Villans’ 1-0 loss on the south coast was their fifth consecutive defeat in the division and leaves Smith’s job hanging by a thread.

While much of the focus will naturally surround the manager, his players hardly covered themselves in glory either, with Anwar El Ghazi in particularly shocking form.

The Netherlands international was recalled to the starting line-up at St Mary’s and delivered the kind of woeful performance which would have left fans fuming.

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As per Sofascore, he lost possession 16 times over the course of the game and lost seven of his nine duels on the night too, with Valentino Livramento finding it far too easy to pocket him at full-back. Only one of his three attempts on goal found the target, while he has no successful dribbles and none of his four attempted crosses found the mark either.

The Dutchman’s attempt at winning a cheap penalty was also slammed as “pathetic” on commentary, and it rather summed up what was a wholly ineffective performance.

Writing in his post-match player ratings for The Birmingham Mail, Ashley Preece gave him a measly two, saying: “Should have had an early bath after his 11th-minute booking before another clear foul and then a dive. Livramento wouldn’t have had an easier game this season.

“El Ghazi kept losing the ball while he spurned a golden chance after Livramento slipped before firing high and wide. El Ghazi struck a powerful one which was tipped over by McCarthy after the break as Villa initially went to a 4-4-2. Poor on his return to the starting XI.”

With reports in recent weeks and months already indicating that Smith would be open to selling the winger, the £8.5m-rated Dutchman simply has to be sold after his latest disasterclass.

Meanwhile, Ashley Preece has dropped a worrying contract update…

Article title: Aston Villa’s Anwar El Ghazi was shocking v Southampton in the Premier League

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