Southampton face Leeds United on Tuesday night and after his impressive performance from the bench against Fulham at the weekend, Ralph Hasenhuttl should unleash Nathan Tella.
The 21-year-old came off the bench to score his first senior goal with his first touch against the Cottagers, before earning his first Premier League assist later in the game, as his deft backheel found Theo Walcott, whose deflected strike flew past Alphonse Areola in the Fulham goal.
Following the game, the Austrian manager was full of praise for the attacker, dubbing him Southampton’s “biggest talent”, so he clearly feels that he is destined for an excellent career in the Premier League.
The former Arsenal youngster has enjoyed a breakthrough season at St Mary’s, making 21 appearances for Hasenhuttl’s side in all competitions, having impressed in David Horseman’s B team in recent campaigns.
One of Tella’s few Premier League starts came in the reverse fixture against Leeds United, and whilst the Saints lost 3-0 in a poor display, the youngster was definitely one of the only bright sparks in a disappointing evening, so deserves a start against Marcelo Bielsa’s side in a less pressurised situation on home soil.
Although he has arguably looked better in a more central role, replacing Danny Ings up front at the weekend, both he and Che Adams have been in good form of late, so Hasenhuttl should perhaps shift Tella out on the wing, where he can replace either Takumi Minamino or Nathan Redmond, both of whom have been disappointing in recent fixtures.
Certainly, Southampton fans, who will return to St Mary’s for the fixture after restrictions eased on Monday, will want to get a good look at Tella, as his promising displays this season have been a bright spark in a largely disappointing season.
Hopefully, he can pick up where he left off on Saturday with another strong display against Leeds, which will stand him in good stead ahead of next season.
And, in other news… Hasenhuttl handed golden opportunity to axe £13.5m flop, Gao surely buzzing