Southampton finally managed to secure their first Premier League win of the season at the weekend with a 1-0 victory over Leeds United thanks to a second-half strike from on-loan Armando Broja on his first league start of the campaign.
This win over Marcelo Bielsa’s side put the Saints up to 15th in the table with seven points from their opening eight league games.
Their next clash sees the Saints take on Burnley at St Mary’s at the weekend, with the visitors having just three points on the board so far this season.
One player who we feel should definitely be in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s starting XI to face Burnley is Ibrahima Diallo.
The midfielder joined Southampton last October from French club Brest on a four-year deal. Since then, the 22-year-old, who is currently valued at £13.5m by Transfermarkt, has made 34 appearances for the Saints across all competitions.
So far this season, Diallo – who has been described as “aggressive” on the pitch in the past by Hasenhuttl – has featured in all of Southampton’s Premier League matches apart from their 0-0 draw against Manchester City and their 1-0 defeat against Wolves, being an unused substitute in both games.
In his latest appearance for the Saints in the win over Leeds, he made his first league start of the campaign and completed four of the five dribbles that he attempted, won 10 of his 17 duels, made two tackles and one interception and racked up a passing accuracy percentage of 84%. That all earned him an overall match rating of 7/10, making him Southampton’s highest-rated midfielder on the day according to SofaScore, showing how instrumental he was in the match.
Taking all this into account, along with the absence of club captain James Ward-Prowse as a result of the three-game ban he picked up against Chelsea before the recent international break, we feel that Diallo should definitely keep his place in the team for when Burnley make the trip to St Mary’s at the weekend.
Looking further down the line from the Clarets match, if he puts in another decent performance at the weekend, he could well give Hasenhuttl a potential selection headache for when fellow midfielder Ward-Prowse becomes available again.