Just a few days since their previous Premier League outing that saw Southampton beat Aston Villa 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Adam Armstrong, it seems as though two Saints players have failed to get through the latest international break unscathed.
It has recently been revealed that Saints captain James Ward-Prowse has withdrawn from the England squad through illness with Valentino Livramento also dropping out of the England U21 squad with an injury, which will surely leave Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl gutted.
After all, it’s safe to say the duo are important players for the manager given how Livramento has started all 11 of Southampton’s Premier League matches so far this season, with Ward-Prowse having only missed two league games as a result of his ban earlier in the season.
Given the lack of clarity over the severity of Livramento’s injury and Ward-Prowse’s illness at the moment, we feel that this could be a worrying time for the Southampton fans, even though they still have a decent amount of time until their next league game against Norwich City.
Thinking about the worst-case scenario which would be if the duo are both unable to play against the Canaries, we feel that this would be a massive blow for the Saints given how significant they are for the team in defence and midfield.
With Livramento, the fact that he has managed to rack up an average of 2.5 tackles, 1.8 clearances and 1.5 interceptions per game in the league proves just how useful he has been for the team from a defensive point of view.
In regards to Ward-Prowse, we feel that he could well be a big miss if he isn’t available for the Norwich match considering how he has a higher passing success percentage (87.8%) and made more crosses per game (1.9) than any other Saints player in the league so far this season according to WhoScored. Furthermore, he’s the club captain so to lose him again would be an almighty blow.
In a recent poll ran on Football FanCast, the majority of Saints fans made it clear that they feel Ward-Prowse is Southampton’s most important player, demonstrating why they’ll be gutted about his potential absence.
Moving forward, with the pair set to stay at the club for the remainder of the break, everyone at Southampton, especially Hasenhuttl, will be hoping that they can fully recover from their issues by the time the Premier League starts back up again.