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Southampton handed potential injury boost ahead of Burnley showdown

After securing their first Premier League win of the season over the weekend with a 1-0 victory against Leeds United, Southampton have another big game on the horizon with Burnley making the trip to St. Mary’s to try and get their first win of the campaign.

Southampton are set to be without James Ward-Prowse as a result of the three-game ban he picked up during the Saints’ 3-1 defeat against Chelsea before the recent international break, as well as defender Jack Stephens after he picked up a serious knee injury during the club’s 0-0 draw against Manchester City.

Thus, Ralph Hasenhuttl will have to make do with the players he currently has at his disposal as they try and grab their second win of the season.

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However, it seems as though there could be one positive thrown their way ahead of the match at the weekend that could be a big boost for the team.

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Saints midfielder Will Smallbone recently played the full 90 minutes of Southampton’s U23 match against Wolves, the first time he has done so since he damaged his ACL back in January.

As a product of Southampton’s youth academy, Smallbone made his senior debut for the Saints back in January 2020 during a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup after working his way through their youth teams.

Specifically, the 21-year-old, who is currently valued at £1.8m according to Transfermarkt, has made 52 appearances for the U18 side, scoring six goals and providing seven assists, 41 appearances for Southampton’s B side, scoring seven goals and providing five assists along the way.

Smallbone also has 13 senior appearances under his belt, scoring once and adding two assists to his career tally, showing he is a very useful midfielder in terms of creating and scoring goals.

This also highlights just how devastating the injury he suffered was given how promising he’d become for the club beforehand.

Would you like to see Smallbone play against Burnley?

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Yes

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Taking all of this into account, we feel that it would be massive, not just for Smallbone, but for the Southampton fans who would be thrilled to see him potentially get back on the pitch, especially considering how long he was out of action for.

Looking ahead to the Burnley match, if Smallbone is fully fit enough to play a part in the game against Sean Dyche’s side, we feel that it would be good for him to get some time on the pitch, but not too much considering the severity of his injury so it would therefore probably be best for Hasenhuttl to gently ease him back into it rather than throw him in from the start.

In other news: Signed for £5m, now worth £22.5m, Saints hit the jackpot with “important” club beast – opinion

Article title: Southampton handed potential injury boost ahead of Burnley showdown

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