The return of the Premier League this weekend after the latest international break sees Southampton take on Leeds United at St Mary’s on Saturday, with both teams having had rather disappointing starts to the campaign.
The Saints’ previous league outing before the break saw them fall to a 3-1 defeat against Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
One player who did not feature in Southampton’s starting XI against Chelsea but who should come in against Leeds is Moussa Djenepo, who is currently earning a weekly wage of £55k-per-week according to Spotrac.
Southampton signed the winger back in the 2019 summer transfer window on a four-year contract from Belgian club Standard Liege in a deal which could rise to £15m.
Since then, the 23-year-old – who is currently valued at £11.7m by Transfermarkt – has made 58 appearances for the Saints across all competitions, in which he has scored four goals and provided two assists along the way.
So far this season, Djenepo – who was described by teammate Nathan Redmond as being a “super-talented” player – has played in all but one of Southampton’s league games, starting four of them, but has yet to score a goal or provide an assist.
Nonetheless, he has managed to rack up 1.2 shots per game so far this season in the Premier League according to WhoScored, showing that he is still very much an attacking threat for the Saints whenever he’s on the pitch, and he could therefore be a potential game-changer against Leeds. Only four players can exceed that tally and there is a strong chance that two of them won’t feature on Saturday through either suspension (James Ward-Prowse) or injury (Che Adams).
After replacing Nathan Tella in the second half of the Chelsea game, Djenepo made two successful dribbles and won five ground duels and two tackles in just 17 minutes, ultimately seeing him earn a match rating of 6.5/10. That was higher than the likes of Tella and Redmond, both of whom started the match according to SofaScore.
Looking ahead to the Leeds clash, we feel that Hasenhuttl should go with Djenepo over Tella on the left wing to see if the Mali international can help the Saints secure their first league win of the season against Marcelo Bielsa’s side – who they would overtake in the table if they manage to do so – based on the decent showing the 23-year-old delivered off the bench against Chelsea.