Southampton have been handed a big injury boost, as long-term absentee Tino Livramento shared a promising update on his return to action.
The former Chelsea man has been out of action since suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in April, with reports at the time suggesting that he would be out of action for the entirety of 2022.
Ralph Hasenhuttl suggested recently that the 19-year-old was making good progress in his recovery but was unlikely to return before the World Cup later this year.
Livramento has himself provided an update on his Instagram story, which showed him keeping the ball up with a range of skills with the caption ‘boots back on.’
It would be a big boost for Hasenhuttl if the youngster were to return ahead of schedule as Southampton are currently lacking full-backs, as left-back Romain Perraud is also currently sidelined through injury.
This has forced the Austrian manager to select a five-at-the-back system with Moussa Djenepo on the left and Kyle Walker-Peters on the right, and an injury to either of those players could be catastrophic as the Saints are yet to sign a new full-back this summer.
Livramento was something of a revelation for Southampton last season, as he quickly broke into the first team despite having no previous experience of senior football.
The teenage defender made 28 appearances in the top flight, contributing one goal and one assist for Southampton, averaging a solid 6.73 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
He certainly won over Hasenhuttl with his displays as he took over from Kyle Walker-Peters as the first-choice right-back in Southampton’s squad, with the former Tottenham Hotspur man moved to left-back in order to get both players in the side.
Livramento also won over his more senior teammates, as Theo Walcott sang his praises on talkSPORT, saying:
“You can just see he’s got an aura about him around the place. He’s changed completely which is really nice to see when you get a bit more confidence playing, he’s not as shy and timid around the place he’s got a bit more of a presence.
“It just shows that there’s a future star there but again we need to be careful as we always do but it’s why we love football isn’t it? I can’t complain, he’s been absolutely fantastic.”
Given the lack of wide defenders currently available to Hasenhuttl, it can only be good news that Livramento is back on the grass, and the Austrian manager will be hoping he can still play a big part this season after such an eye-catching debut campaign.