So far this season Southampton have drawn four and lost three of their opening seven Premier League games of the season, still searching for their first league win of the campaign.
With Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side entering the current international break after losing 3-1 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, it has not been a good period for the Saints.
Their next league outing sees them take on Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United, who are only ahead of the Saints by two points in the table.
One player that we feel Hasenhuttl should start in the match against Leeds is left-back Romain Perraud, who has only played four minutes of action for the Saints throughout their three previous league fixtures.
Southampton signed Perraud, who Hasenhuttl said is a “character that’s perfect” for the club, back in the summer transfer window from French club Stade Brest on a four-year deal, essentially replacing Ryan Bertrand who left St. Mary’s for a move to fellow Premier League club Leicester City shortly after the Frenchman arrived.
With the Leeds match on the horizon, we feel that to try and turn their fortunes around in the league, Hasenhuttl should tinker with the starting XI that faced Chelsea and start by putting Perraud in at left-back instead of Kyle Walker-Peters. He has been playing in that position recently despite him predominantly being a right-back.
Perraud’s previous league start for the Saints saw him play the full 90 minutes in their 0-0 draw against West Ham United where the left-back caught the eye.
He was mightily effective in Southampton’s defence, making three tackles, two interceptions and one clearance, ultimately winning five out of the eight duels he was involved in. That earned him a very respectable overall match rating of 7.2/10, making him one of Southampton’s highest-rated outfield players on the day according to SofaScore.
Moving forward, we feel that if Perraud starts against Leeds and impresses, then he should be kept in the starting XI and viewed as Southampton’s first-choice left-back going forward. After all, his defensive attributes have the potential to be a real game-changer for the Saints in the wider picture of their season.
Factor in his previous links with Leeds and that could fuel another eye-catching display from the full-back.