Southampton will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to six games as they travel away to face Sheffield United in the League Cup.
The Saints will need to defeat the Championship side to progress through to the fourth round, having beaten Newport County 8-0 in the previous stage of the competition.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men come into this match off the back of a 0-0 draw with Manchester City in the Premier League and the Austrian could make a number of changes to freshen his side up.
One player who should be given his chance to shine in the spotlight is summer signing Lyanco. The centre-back is yet to make his debut for the club and this League Cup clash could offer up the perfect opportunity for him to come in and show what he can do.
With Jack Stephens potentially out for a while with a knee injury, there could be a spot in the XI for Lyanco to slot in and start alongside Jan Bednarek. This would also allow Mohammed Salisu to rest ahead of the league meeting with Wolves at the weekend.
Earlier this month, Hasenhuttl admitted that Lyanco, who is a ‘very good character’, is a long-term project at St. Mary’s. He told Southampton’s official website:
“As always, for us, new signings are long-term projects.
“He needs to learn his English, but he’s willing to learn in every area. A very good character and a very settled personality. Very happy to have him here.
“Ori, in the moment, is a little bit my translator. My Italian is not that good when I try to speak with him, especially in the football business there are some words I don’t know.”
This suggests that he should not be rushed into starting in the Premier League straight away, with the likes of Stephens, Salisu and Bednarek ahead of him. Therefore, playing him in the cup, instead of the pressured league matches, could be perfect for the defender to help him ease into English football.
Lyanco averaged a solid SofaSore rating of 6.90 in 23 Serie A appearances for Torino last season, with the warrior averaging 2.0 interceptions and 3.1 clearances per game. This suggests that he does have the potential to put in quality performances at the top level, but it is now down to whether or not he can adapt to the English game and a test against Sheffield United could provide Hasenhuttl with some valuable information.
Therefore, the Austrian head coach must give Lyanco his 90 minutes in the spotlight as it is his time to shine in a Southampton shirt. Allow the defender to showcase what he is capable of doing on the pitch to see if he can challenge the other centre-backs in the squad for their places.