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Southampton: Incoming boss Nathan Jones must unleash Romeo Lavia

With Ralph Hasenhuttl being handed his marching orders, Southampton have instantly set about securing his replacement.

Looking to waste no time, within just a few hours of the announcement that he was gone they already seemed to have a move for Luton Town boss Nathan Jones lined up.

Should Romeo Lavia be thrown back into the starting side?

Yes

Yes

No

No

With John Percy noting the “advanced talks”, he went on to state that it is: “Uncertain at this stage whether Jones takes charge for final time at Stoke on Tuesday night but this is moving quickly”.

With that in mind, it seems that the 49-year-old can already start formulating his team for the Saints’ upcoming fixtures.

One man who certainly deserves a recall is Romeo Lavia, who seems ready to return following his injury absence.

Particularly with his replacement Ainsley Maitland-Niles having underperformed with his chance in the starting side.

This is outlined in his 6.72 average SofaScore rating, of which the 18-year-old had outperformed with his 6.92 in just five games.

A workmanlike presence beside James Ward-Prowse, the teenage sensation had starred since his move from Manchester City in the summer.

The Belgian was averaging 1.8 interceptions, 1.3 tackles per game, and had just secured his first Premier League goal with a scorching effort against Chelsea.

Meanwhile, the on-loan man from Arsenal had just 0.5 interceptions per game as a slightly more advanced midfielder, yet still has recorded no goal contributions.

He was left to rue a shoddy display against Newcastle on Sunday, with Maitland-Niles’ lacklustre defending the reason for Miguel Almiron’s opener while he also let Joe Willock in behind for their final goal.

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The improvement when Lavia features is a testament to his ability at such a young age, outlined in the fact that they had won two of their first five games of which he featured, and yet have only won once in the nine matches following where he was absent.

Even Fabrizio Romano took note of his ability when announcing the nearly completed transfer, as he labelled the £38k-per-week starlet on Twitter a “top talent”.

Jones will enter St Mary’s with a relatively clean slate but will be aware of the club’s current situation and what must be done to drag them out of the relegation zone. They are just three points off 12th-placed Leeds United.

Unleashing this youngster once again, who earned vital minutes off their bench in their recent collapse against Newcastle United, could be the key to giving the incoming manager the best possible start before the World Cup break commences.

Article title: Southampton: Incoming boss Nathan Jones must unleash Romeo Lavia

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