Southampton made it three games without a goal as they were held to a 0-0 draw against West Ham on Tuesday evening and the performance of Moussa Djenepo may be cause for concern for Ralph Hasenhuttl.
The Malian has shown glimpses of ability during his time with the South Coast club but has been far too inconsistent, with his display against West Ham once again far from good enough.
As per SofaScore, the 22-year-old winger would complete just 14 passes against the Hammers, with zero key passes, as he struggled to have any impact on the game going forward.
This led to him being replaced late in the second half, and following his disappointing display, it would be a surprise to see him start in the Saints’ next fixture against Liverpool.
The youngster is seemingly struggling to form a connection with left-back Ryan Bertrand, with the former Chelsea man rarely overlapping on the left-hand side, whereas Kyle Walker-Peters has had a lot more success on the right-hand side, whether he’s linking up with Theo Walcott or Stuart Armstrong.
Whilst Djenepo obviously has a lot of talent, he often seems to go missing in games, and he needs to drastically improve his goal contribution rate, with just one goal and no assists in 12 appearances in the top-flight so far this season, which has resulted in a less than impressive 6.55 average rating.
The winger, who joined from Standard Liege in the summer of 2019, showed with his goals against Sheffield United and Brighton last season that he can be a threat for the South Coast club, but at the moment, he seems to be following in the footsteps of former Saints man Sofiane Boufal rather than the far more successful Sadio Mane.
Boufal managed just five goals and five assists in 84 appearances for the Saints, which included some superb individual efforts but ultimately he didn’t do enough to impress Hasenhuttl, as he was released by the club earlier this year and is now plying his trade with Angers SCO in Ligue 1.
Djenepo’s goal against Sheffield United earned him the praise of teammate Nathan Redmond, who said:
“He is a super-talented boy who is so open-minded and eager to learn every single day. He gets on well with everybody and has fitted in so well.”
However, it is perhaps only Redmond’s injury problems that are keeping Djenepo in the Southampton starting line up at the moment, as his performances this season have been far from good enough.
Whilst he is only 22, and his contract is set to run until 2023, he will have to start adding goals and assists to his game if he wants to have a future at the South Coast club.
And, in other news… 100% duels lost: “Outstanding” Southampton star badly let Hasenhuttl down vs WHU