Southampton fans won’t lose too much sleep if Boufal doesn’t play for them again

According to reports in The Sun, Southampton attacker Sofiane Boufal has been banished to train on his own following a bust-up with manager Mark Hughes after the 3-2 defeat against Chelsea at St Mary’s earlier this month.

What’s the word, then?

Sofiane Boufal in his Southampton tracksuit

Well, The Sun says that the duo argued in the dressing room following the loss after substitute Boufal refused to warm up during the second half, with a club insider adding that Hughes threw a water bottle across changing room after the final whistle.

The Morocco international missed the visit to Leicester City last Thursday through illness, something that Southampton fans on Twitter doubted was true at the time, while he was also absent from the 18 for the FA Cup semi-final defeat against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.

The Sun adds that the south coast outfit will be desperate to sell the £60,000-a-week forward during the summer – especially if they are relegated – with their former boss Claude Puel still an admirer.

How has Boufal done this season?

While he perhaps hasn’t been given the run in the first team that he perhaps deserves, he also hasn’t made much of an impact when he has started, and that has been the story of his Saints career to date.

The 24-year-old has scored two goals and provided a further two assists in 30 appearances in all competitions this term, and he only has four goals in 59 outings in total for Southampton since joining them from Lille in 2016.

While he is clearly capable of that moment of magic – shown by his solo goal against West Bromwich Albion in November – and perhaps has been mis-managed by Puel and then Mauricio Pellegrino, he hasn’t shown his talent on enough occasions and the latest report may prove that his attitude may well be one of the reasons.

Will he play for the club again?

Whether Saints stay up or go down it seems likely that Boufal will be on his way out this summer, and if the report proves to be true then it is hard to see Hughes playing the Moroccan – or even including him in the squad – for their final four crucial Premier League fixtures of the season.

Southampton fans certainly won’t be too unhappy if that is the case, as they will only want players that are going to fight for the shirt whichever division they find themselves in next term.