Southampton forward Mo Elyounoussi produced a worrying display for Norway as his country beat Gilbraltar 5-1 in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.
The Norweigan attacker has made a promising return to England after a two-year spell in Scotland with Celtic, scoring in his only Premier League appearance of the season to date. He also scored a hat-trick in a League Cup thrashing of League Two outfit Newport County, potentially leaving fans to wonder whether or not he will finally come good on the south coast.
Elyounoussi’s debut campaign with the Saints was disastrous. He failed to register a single goal or assist in 16 Premier League appearances and averaged a dismal WhoScored rating of 6.51, as he failed to show that he could score or assist goals on a regular basis in the top-flight of English football.
His performance for Norway against Gilbraltar was a throwback to those early displays for Southampton as he struggled with his end product. He had more touches of the ball than Kristian Thorstvedt, Erling Haaland and Alexander Sorloth, who were all directly involved in at least two goals whilst Elyounoussi managed neither a goal nor an assist.
Elyounoussi attempted four shots during the match, getting just one on target, the other three blocked by defenders. This suggests that the quality of his efforts in front of goal were well below the standard required to find the back of the net, or even reach the goal as the majority of them were cut out at source.
One of his shots went down as a ‘big chance missed’ on SofaScore. This means that he spurned an excellent opportunity to find the back of the net, which is worrying for Ralph Hasenhuttl heading into the rest of the campaign as he will want consistency from his forwards.
Elyounoussi also lost possession of the ball 11 times during his 81 minutes on the pitch. This included three of his four crossing attempts going straight back to the opposition rather than finding a teammate. His finishing was sub-par and these statistics suggest that his all-around play also left plenty to be desired.
Southampton fans, along with Hasenhuttl, could be concerned by this performance as it was a throwback to his early showings in red and white. They will be hoping that it is a blip and that he is able to return to Premier League action for the Saints at the weekend ready to put in a top-class performance in order to nail down his spot in the starting XI.