Following the injury to Nathan Redmond in Southampton 1-1 draw against Wolves on Monday night, it looks as if Moussa Djenepo is set for an extended period in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s starting squad and he must make the most of this opportunity.
The winger, who joined from Standard Liege in a deal that could be worth £15 million last summer, has made 27 appearances for the Saints thus far, in which he has contributed just three goals and two assists (per Transfermarkt).
After injuries disrupted his debut season, the Mali international has enjoyed a run of games in the Southampton side so far this campaign, having made six appearances in the Premier League thus far, in which he has managed one goal and no assists, averaging a 6.74 rating (per WhoScored).
Despite his arguably indifferent form, he looks set to keep his place in the Saints’ starting 11 for however long Redmond is sidelined.
The 22-year-old hasn’t really ever had an extended run in Hasenhuttl’s side and perhaps with the added pressure of now being the most senior left-winger available in the Austrian manager’s squad, the £55k-per-week ace will start to perform more regularly in the top-flight.
Whilst Southampton fans have been treated to glimpses of his obvious ability, perhaps most memorably when he scored a superb solo goal in the Saints’ 1-0 win against Sheffield United last season, he needs to start adding more goal contributions to his game.
The South Coast club are in excellent form at the moment but they are missing Danny Ings as well as Redmond, so Djenepo must step up with his share of goals, or you would imagine that their form could tail off.
It seems as if his teammate Redmond has a lot of faith in him to step up as his replacement, as last year he was full of praise for the Malian, saying:
“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. I think that’s allowed to be free and almost naïve when he gets the ball because he wants to go and show people what he’s got which helps us out as a team.” (per Daily Echo)
Considering Djenepo grabbed 11 goals and six assists in his last season with Standard Liege, he can clearly be an attacking force and with the pressure now on the 22-year-old winger to perform, perhaps we will start to see him score more goals in the Premier League.