Southampton face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium this weekend as they go in search of their first win of the Premier League campaign.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints have picked up three draws and one defeat from their opening four Premier League matches. After losing to Everton on the opening day, the Saints managed draws against Manchester United, Newcastle and most recently West Ham.
What could the Austrian do to give his side the best chance of coming away with their first win? Making some changes to the starting XI could be one way to go about it, and in Moussa Djenepo, there has been one player in particular who has failed to make the most of his opportunities this season.
The winger has started all four of Southampton’s league matches this term and averaged a dismal SofaScore rating of 6.28. Only Nathan Tella, who has played 10 top-flight minutes, has a lower rating than the Mali international, highlighting how much he has struggled recently.
Djenepo has failed to make an impact defensively or offensively in his four starts, struggling at both ends of the pitch for the Saints. The £34k-per-week dud has failed to produce a single goal or assist in the league this season, whilst only creating 0.8 chances per game and completing 40% of his attempted dribbles with the ball. He has also missed one ‘big chance’, showing that he has not had the quality in the final third to punish Premier League opposition.
Defensively, he has been too lightweight. As per SofaScore, Djenepo has lost 63% of his total duels against opponents, whilst he has also been dribbled past as often as he has won possession back (0.5) per game. This shows that he has not been strong enough to win individual battles against opponents, handing the advantage to the other team.
He also lost possession of the ball a whopping 61 times in four games, 15.3 times per match, and has completed a disappointing 70% of his passes. All told, he has not offered enough defensively, offensively or in transition to suggest that he deserves to keep his place in the starting XI.
Hasenhuttl needs to ruthlessly axe him from the team and offer another player a chance, as Djenepo is not providing the goods at this moment in time. Dropping him also could motivate the 23-year-old to work harder in training and improve when he gets his next opportunity to play.