It’s fair to say that not many people had heard of Tino Livramento at the start of this season, but you have to be living under a rock to not know now.
The England U21 international joined Southampton on a permanent deal from Chelsea in pursuit of regular first-team football in the summer. He went straight into the starting lineup under Ralph Hasenhuttl and hasn’t looked back since, starting every game so far.
His importance to the side has been underlined by the fact he has missed just four minutes of action across those 15 games so far and despite the club’s lowly position in the league table, he has been their shining light.
England manager Gareth Southgate declared him as “excellent” in a recent press conference, while club teammate Theo Walcott has labelled him as “absolutely fantastic” and compared him to a young Gareth Bale.
The Saints academy graduate said: “Do you know what, he reminds me a little bit of Gareth when he came through as a full-back.
“That’s a big statement of course to compare him to someone like that but just feel like his presence and the way he drives and the pace and the power and it’s no surprises that you know what he’s going to do.”
The Welsh winger may seem like a stretch of a comparison considering the glittering heights he has reached in his career, but it should be remembered that his career began as a flying full-back for the south coast side.
The 19-year-old, who earns just £7k-per-week at St Mary’s, has been among the best performers at the club this season. He ranks second among the entire squad for successful tackles per game with 2.3, behind just Oriol Romeu with 2.4. He also ranks in second among the squad for interceptions a match with 1.9 behind only Mohammed Salisu and averages 1.7 clearances an outing which ranks him fifth among the squad with players with three or more starts.
If that wasn’t enough, he has been great going forward too. He is tied for third in the squad for the most key passes on average per game with 0.9, fourth in the squad for successful dribbles with 1.3 and is one of only seven Saints players to find the back of the net so far during the campaign.
If Southampton find themselves playing in the Championship next season, you can almost guarantee that Livramento won’t be with them. If they manage to stay up in the Premier League however, it seems obvious that he will be big reason for that; he is key to Hasenhuttl and co.
AND in other news, Hasenhuttl must unleash Armando Broja.