The effective utilisation of young talent has been a hallmark of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s thus far short but impressive tenure at Southampton, with James Ward-Prowse, Jan Bednarek and Yan Valery just a few examples of players who have flourished under the Austrian’s management.
Not everyone has come on leaps and bounds since the former RB Leipzig boss took the wheel, though – Mohamed Elyounoussi is still rotting away at St Mary’s Stadium, but at least he knows why that’s the case.
Well, Norwegian outlet Adresseavisen have accumulated comments made by the former Basel man and he has hinted at what the problem is:
“They [Southampton] see that I have skills and am important player for the club. But I need more time to develop and take the physical level required in the Premier League.”
The winger may feel that he is regarded as a key member of the squad, although 700 Premier League minutes over the course of the season suggests he might not be.
While the 24-year-old’s comments regarding the physicality of the English top flight are spot on, he has had since July to adapt but hasn’t – otherwise, his skill-set should suit Saints. It looks more likely at this point that, rather than being restored as the dynamic winger Southampton saw in Switzerland, he will just be their next Sofiane Boufal.
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Similar questions were raised regarding the Celta Viga loanee’s suitability in the Premier League and, despite flashes of brilliance, he looks unlikely to live up to his price tag. Will Elyounoussi follow the same path?
The aforementioned Ward-Prowse has spoken this week about the grit and determination he has brought into his game – the England international was previously seen as a bit of a nice guy – so the question begs as to why Elyounoussi cannot do the same. Perhaps, for the Norwegian it is a case of poor application rather than adaptation.