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Southampton: Hasenhuttl must unleash Will Smallbone

Southampton failed to continue the solid run of form they were enjoying prior to the recent international break by losing 2-1 to Norwich City at the weekend

What made matters even worse was the injury blow suffered to Stuart Armstrong who picked up a calf injury before the match at the weekend. Thus, it can be argued that something will need to change for the Saints moving forward.

One potential change that manager Ralph Hasenhuttl could make to his team that could revolutionise the side is by unleashing midfielder Will Smallbone.

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First up in this 2020/21 PL season quiz, how many league goals did Danny Ings score?

After recovering from a serious knee injury he suffered back in January, the 21-year-old, who is currently valued at £1.8m according to Transfermarkt, was fit enough to be on the substitutes bench against Norwich, showing just how close he is to getting back into action for the Saints.

As a product of Southampton’s youth academy, Smallbone made his senior debut for the club back in January 2020 in an FA Cup victory over Huddersfield Town, making 52 appearances for the U18 side where he scored six goals and provided seven assists.

He’s also appeared 44 times for their B team, finding the net on seven occasions and bagging six assists.

In the 14 senior appearances he’s made for Southampton, Smallbone, who has been described by Hasenhuttl in the past as a “smart” player, has managed to score one goal and provide two assists, showing his attacking and creative talents on the pitch.

Are you excited to have Will Smallbone fit again?

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Yes

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No

If Smallbone has now fully recovered from his serious injury, Hasenhuttl should definitely start integrating him into the team gradually so he can get back into the swing of things with the rest of his teammates and potentially make the team more dynamic in an attacking regard, like they needed to be against Norwich. Judging by his performances at youth level, he’s definitely got the ability to transform Hasenhuttl’s offence.

Southampton’s next game seeing them take on Liverpool at Anfield, and while this may not be the right game to stick Smallbone in right from the start, it could be worth giving him some minutes in the second half to get the experience under his belt to see if he can make a difference.

In other news: Big blow: Southampton dealt worrying injury setback that will surely have Ralph gutted – opinion

Article title: Southampton: Hasenhuttl must unleash Will Smallbone

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