Whilst the news that Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu will miss the rest of the season after fracturing his ankle is an obvious big blow for Ralph Hasenhuttl, one silver lining could be that it will give Ibrahima Diallo the opportunity to become an important part of this Saints team.
The French midfielder is set to make his own return from injury shortly, having returned to individual training recently, and you suspect that he will partner James Ward-Prowse in midfield for the rest of the season once he is back to full fitness.
The 21-year-old joined Southampton during the summer transfer window and was limited to substitute appearances under Hasenhuttl until Romeu’s injury earlier in the season.
He was superb on his full debut in the 0-0 draw with Fulham and followed that up with another excellent display in the 1-0 win against Liverpool in January, which was Southampton’s last win in the top-flight.
Considering how impressive Romeu has been for Southampton this season, with the Spanish midfielder having averaged a solid 6.97 rating for his performances in the top-flight, you imagine that had he stayed fit, then Diallo would’ve found himself on the bench for the majority of the remaining games.
However, he can now take advantage of his teammate’s injury woes and establish himself as a key member of this Southampton team, with the view to him challenging Romeu for a starting spot next season, or potentially convincing Hasenhuttl to field them both in his starting eleven.
Therefore, with Southampton having struggled immensely in recent weeks, this is the perfect opportunity for Diallo to step up and showcase his talents in the Premier League, as he briefly did earlier in the season before his injury.