Southampton winger Mohamed Elyounoussi has returned to St Mary’s for pre-season training and if he is given opportunities to impress in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side next season, then Moussa Djenepo could well be in trouble.
It has been suggested that the Norway international will be given a chance to win Hasenhuttl over during pre-season, after spending the last two seasons out on loan with Celtic.
Since signing from FC Basel in 2017, Elyounoussi has managed just 19 appearances for Southampton, in which he managed no goals and no assists, so it was no surprise to see him sent out on loan in order to build some confidence.
It would appear that he has done just that, as in two seasons at Celtic Park, he made 67 appearances, contributing an impressive 24 goals and 14 assists.
Last season saw the 26-year-old managed 17 goals and eight assists in all competitions and it would be a huge boost for Southampton if he were able to replicate that sort of form in the Premier League next season.
BBC journalist Tom English was full of praise for Elyounoussi’s performances during his time at Celtic, as he said:
“Elyounoussi is, I think rightly the Man of the Match, and the one we should talk about because this guy is a very, very good player. When he came to Celtic last season, he might have tailed off towards the end of last season, but he was excellent when he came in.
“He has an awful lot to offer and that performance will fill Neil Lennon with an awful lot of heart because if he’s back to his best, Elyounoussi is a very, very dangerous player.”
If Hasenhuttl does unleash Elyounoussi next season, then you worry whether Djenepo will get much game time. He managed just one goal and no assists in 27 Premier League appearances last season, averaging a very disappointing 6.37 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Other than impressive solo goals against Brighton and Sheffield United, the Mali international is yet to really impress with Southampton and has just four strikes to his name in 51 appearances.
Recent reports have linked the 23-year-old with Fenerbahce and if Elyounoussi were to take his chance in Hasenhuttl’s side next season on the left wing, then perhaps we would see Djenepo depart.
And, in other news… Hasenhuttl dealt huge blow with “outstanding” star, Saints fans will be fuming