It has been reported in the last few days by The Daily Echo that Ralph Hasenhuttl wants to sell one of his two main senior left-backs this summer transfer window.
This is because he thinks that youngster Jake Vokins deserves the opportunity to be promoted into the senior squad as the second-choice left-sided full-back.
At present, Southampton have ex-Chelsea man Ryan Bertrand, who is often preferred, and his understudy Matt Targett.
The former will be turning 30 before the start of next season and the latter is just 24. He boasts freshness while the former boasts vast experience, including a Champions League winners’ medal.
Targett almost left the club for Fulham last summer having helped them earn promotion on loan in 2017/2018 before the south coast outfit blocked the deal, a clue he has a future at his boyhood team.
How is Hasenhuttl going to decide which left-back to keep and which left-back to sell? Well, today we’re going to make his mind up for him by looking at the statistics.
With the help of figures from WhoScored, we’ve created the above player head-to-head infographic pitting some of the players’ Premier League stats from 2018/2019 against one and other.
As you can see, Bertrand made eight more league appearances last season which is no surprise given he’s the first choice.
However, it’s the younger full-back who has more assists with three to his older comrade’s zero, which indicates that he fits Hasenhuttl’s attacking style better.
However, his pass completion was inferior to that of the 29-year-old and he couldn’t manage as many tackles per game, giving Bertrand the statistical edge.
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But Targett battles back to win the final two stats and they both display an expected higher level of sharpness and better timing from the former England youth international – averaging more interceptions per match and much fewer fouls.
Overall, these stats have clearly indicated which left-back Hasenhuttl should move on and that’s Bertrand – as harsh as it may seem.
Targett is where the future of the position is for the Saints as his style of play and assists tally seemingly make him more likely to thrive under the Austrian’s regime.