Moussa Djenepo was able to repay Ralph Hasenhuttl’s faith in him on Friday night, with an impressive display in the 2-0 win against Newcastle.
It was arguably a surprise that the Malian was given the nod to start on the left-wing when you consider that natural centre-back Jack Stephens was being played out of position at left-back and perhaps could have done with a more experienced head, such as Nathan Redmond, available to track back and help him out defensively.
However, Djenepo was able to do an excellent job defensively during the game, making seven tackles and winning 10 out of 15 of his ground duels (per SofaScore).
When he first joined the club, he was likened to Liverpool winger Sadio Mane and called a “handful” by talkSPORT journalist Tony Cascarino, so if he can go on to have the same sort of impact that the Senegalese international has had at both Southampton and Liverpool, then he will surely prove to have been an excellent signing indeed.
So far this season, the £11.7 million-rated man has averaged a 6.75 rating for his performances in the Premier League, compared to Redmond’s more disappointing 6.48 average, so you could certainly suggest that Djenepo made the most of his opportunity to start on Friday. Really, it would be a surprise to see Redmond come back in for their next game against Wolves following the international break.
Therefore, you could certainly argue that the English winger, who earns £60,000-a-week according to Spotrac, will perhaps be frustrated that Djenepo performed so well against the Toon, as he will surely have to improve on his own performances if he wants to re-establish himself in Hasenhuttl’s starting XI for their upcoming fixtures.