Southampton’s 2021/22 Premier League campaign has not got off to the best of starts given that they have failed to win any of their seven opening games of the season, resulting in them picking up just four points so far, putting them in 17th place in the league table.
Their previous league outing saw Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side get beat 3-1 away at Chelsea prior to the current international break.
The Saints’ next league match sees them face off against Leeds United at St. Mary’s who are just two points ahead of Southampton in the league table.
One player that didn’t start against Chelsea before the break that we feel should be in the Saint’s starting XI to face Leeds is Mohamed Elyounoussi, who played 90 minutes in Southampton’s four league games prior to the defeat at Stamford Bridge where he only came on as a late substitute.
Southampton signed Elyounoussi, who has been described in the past by Tom English as a “dangerous” player, back in the 2018 summer transfer window from FC Basel before sending him out on loan to Scottish club Celtic in the following summer window.
Overall, the 27-year-old, who is currently valued at £10.8m according to Transfermarkt, has made just 25 appearances for the Saints in which he has managed to chip in with four goals and provide two assists in the process.
Even though the £60k-per-week winger has only managed to score one goal in the Premier League for Southampton which came during his first league appearance of the season in their 2-2 draw against Newcastle United, we feel that he should return to the starting XI at the weekend against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
That’s predominantly due to the fact that he managed to score both of Norway’s goals in their recent 2-0 win over Montenegro in their latest World Cup qualifying match.
Looking ahead to the match against Leeds, we feel that because he scored his brace for Norway whilst playing in the attacking midfield position, perhaps Hasenhuttl should tinker with his team and see if Elyounoussi would be able to put in a productive performance from that role instead of on the wing.
Additionally, the fact that James Ward-Prowse will miss the match against Leeds as a result of the three-game ban, it could potentially allow the Norwegian to try his hand in the centre and possibly be the match-winner if he can grab a goal or two as he recently did for his country.