Southampton travel to Goodison Park on Monday evening hoping to end a run of form that has seen them pick up just one point out of a possible 24 in the Premier League.
Injury issues have taken their toll on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad, with Kyle Walker-Peters, Ibrahima Diallo and Oriol Romeu all spending time on the sidelines recently.
In the absence of Walker-Peters, the Austrian manager has deployed the likes of James Ward-Prowse and Jan Bednarek out of position at right-back – which has proved to be a poor decision for two reasons.
First of all, neither one of Bednarek and Ward-Prowse possess the pace of Walker-Peters and were therefore not as willing to make forward runs up the pitch, which have been a staple of Southampton’s style of play since his arrival from Tottenham Hotspur.
Secondly, playing these players out of position limits their influence on the game, with the Saints having missed Bednarek’s commanding nature alongside Jannik Vestergaard in central defence, whilst on the occasion where Ward-Prowse was at full-back, they missed his attacking threat in the middle.
Therefore, if Hasenhuttl wants to see his side improve at Goodison Park and stop the rot, he should consider unleashing 20-year-old Kayne Ramsay at full-back.
The 20-year-old is a natural right-back and has made just three senior appearances for the South Coast club, whilst also making five appearances for Shrewsbury Town on loan in League One last season.
Ramsay is unfortunate in that his one appearance for Southampton this season came in the 9-0 defeat against Manchester United, which was a horrible game for all Saints players to be involved in, so Hasenhuttl shouldn’t judge him too harshly for his performance on that day as Saints were playing with ten men for almost the entirety of the encounter.
In fact, the right-back actually made five tackles at Old Trafford, which is comfortably more than any other Saints player has averaged so far this season.
Considering the threat that Everton pose down the left-hand side through Lucas Digne, deploying a natural right-back such as Ramsay could be the key to Southampton improving their form, as it will also allow Bednarek to move back into the middle to try and shackle the dangerous Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Therefore, despite Ramsay’s lack of experience and appearances for Southampton, Hasenhuttl should give him a chance to impress before Walker-Peters returns to full fitness.