Ralph Hasenhuttl has been handed a huge boost at Southampton with the news that Kyle Walker-Peters is expected to return to training shortly.
The right-back has established himself as a key player with the South Coast club since joining on a permanent deal from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, having impressed the Austrian with his performances on loan in the second half of the last campaign.
In 19 appearances in the Premier League this season, the 23-year-old has averaged a superb 7/10 rating for his performances, which is the third-highest of any Saints player in the top-flight.
Southampton held one of the better defensive records earlier in the season, having picked up eight clean sheets in the top-flight, but their last clean sheet in the Premier League came in the 1-0 win against Liverpool in January.
Walker-Peters’ influence on the Saints defence is clear to see, as he appeared in both FA Cup wins against Arsenal and Wolves, where Hasenhuttl’s side also kept clean sheets.
Considering Southampton have picked up just one point in the last eight games in the Premier League, of which the right-back appeared in just two, it can definitely be argued that they are significantly worse off without him.
Therefore, to have him back in training ahead of a potential six-pointer against Sheffield United next weekend is big news for Hasenhuttl, as if he can stay fit and help Southampton rediscover the form they showed for much of 2020, then surely it won’t be long until any relegation fears are put to bed.