Southampton travel to face Sheffield United in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night as they attempt to progress to the fourth round of the competition.
Ralph Hasenhuttl could look to rotate his side to give the fringe players in the squad a chance to earn a place in the starting XI in the league at the weekend against Wolves. One man who he needs to axe in order to see what another player could do in his position is winger Mohamed Elyounoussi.
The Norwegian has been inconsistent in the Premier League for the Saints this season and it could be time for him to drop out and allow another winger to start. He has shown some signs of promise but there have also been some worrying moments from the forward.
Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton labeled Elyounoussi as a disappointment last season, as he flattered to deceive on the pitch during a loan spell at Parkhead.
The 48-year-old said: “With Elyounoussi I think he’s flattered to deceive at times. His goal tally for club and country surprises me a little bit, but he hasn’t been consistent enough and I think he’s been a disappointment if I’m honest.
“Celtic getting him back was a big deal. I was really excited about that link-up between Elyounoussi and Edouard at the start of the season because in the previous season there were signs in patches that their understanding was really exceptional.”
The £10.8m-rated Saints dud has followed a similar pattern early on this season. In three Premier League starts, the 27-year-old has scored once and provided zero assists, whilst creating 1.3 chances per game. This is a respectable return and shows that he can find the back of the net whilst opening up chances for his teammates, although they are yet to reward him with an assist for his efforts as of yet.
However, it is the other side of the game where he has struggled. As per SofaScore, he has been dribbled past 1.7 times per match and lost 62% of his duels over the course of the three games. He has also lost possession 12 times per match, completing 77% of his passes overall.
This shows that he has not stood up to the physical battle of the Premier League, whilst he has also been wasteful with the ball at his feet. Therefore, Hasenhuttl should axe him tonight to see what the likes of Armando Broja and Nathan Tella could do in his position, as Elyounoussi has already his chance in the top flight and failed to grasp it with both hands.