Three Southampton players that must step up in the absence of Oriol Romeu

Southampton manager Claude Puel would have been delighted after his side picked up a vital win against Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, but the victory came at a cost.

The Saints looked to be in trouble when Christian Benteke gave the in-form visitors the lead, but Nathan Redmond equalised just before the break, and late goals from Maya Yoshida and James Ward-Prowse gave the south coast outfit a vital three points as things get tighter at the bottom of the Premier League table.

The one negative for Puel was the booking midfielder Oriol Romeu picked up in the 71st minute – his tenth of the season – which means that he will now miss the trip to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, and the visit of Manchester City to St Mary’s the following weekend.

The Spaniard has become a key player in front of the back four for the Saints this term and he has impressed with his ability to win the ball back, as well as the quality of the distribution once he has done so.

Of course, it gives an opportunity to others to stake their claim for a regular spot in the starting XI.

Here are THREE Southampton players that must step up in the absence of Romeu…