Ralph Hasenhuttl seemed pleased with the debut performance of Moussa Djenepo against Liverpool, and the manager could definitely be tempted to give him a concrete chance to shine against Brighton and Hove Albion next weekend.
Djenepo was introduced on the 77th minute of Southampton’s 2-1 defeat to the Reds on Saturday and played in the unorthodox role of left wing-back, as Ryan Bertrand left the field in his place.
Hasenhuttl, as quoted by Saints’ official club website, explained why he was content with the efforts of the club’s £14 million summer signing. He said:
Bringing Moussa on was an offensive substitution. We tried to bring him into the game and force 1v1 situations and he had a few good ones.
One situation was the moment where we created a chance. It’s good for him to come in and to be able to show strength first time.
Read Southampton’s verdict
Djenepo certainly gave Hasenhuttl some food for thought with his performance against Liverpool. He was tasked with marauding down the left-hand side and giving the dynamic wide pair of Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold problems.
Although he looked somewhat raw, with his dribbling occasionally going awry, he proved a difficult player to handle for the Reds, as his quick feet drew fouls in dangerous areas, helping his team create a possible route back into the game.
Djenepo was at his best when driving into space, creating 1v1 situations as Hasenhuttl rightly observed, and this afforded him the chance to introduce himself to the St Mary’s faithful in a positive manner.
He won the ball back twice, attempted two dribbles and involved himself in seven duels. He was energetic, forward-thinking and focused on his Saints debut, and with the team currently lacking a bit of bite in the final third, it could well be worth handing Djenepo his first Premier League start at Brighton…