Moussa Djenepo has been pictured in Southampton training ahead of this weekend’s trip to Sheffield United.
The Malian winger sustained a muscle injury in Saints’ Carabao Cup win over Fulham last month, which saw him ruled out of the 1-1 draw against Manchester United prior to the international break.
However, as posted by the club’s official Twitter account, Djenepo was out on the St Mary’s pitch with his teammates as they continued preparations for the game against the Blades.
Twitter: Who’s missed these faces?
St Mary’s Stadium https://t.co/yo90OBwqsB (@SouthamptonFC)
Ralph Hasenhuttl was quick to limit supporters’ expectations, though, and insisted that the chances of the winger playing at Bramall Lane are slim. As quoted by the club’s official website, he said:
With Moussa it looks better; we aren’t sure whether it is enough to play this weekend. We’ll have to look. He can bring us something special, he showed it in the few minutes he’s played so far that he can make a difference.
The chances are not that big, but let’s see. I don’t want to take too much risk because it’s a very busy September.
Read Southampton’s verdict
Djenepo’s injury came at a cruel time, but it’s good to see that he’s back out training with the group and is raring to go.
Saints coped well without him and Nathan Redmond for the draw against United, but there was a lack of ball-carrying ability to create genuinely threatening counter-attacks.
Djenepo thrives with the ball at his feet with space to drive into, though, and he would be a useful option for the Sheffield United match.
Whether or not he plays, if fit, is likely to depend on two primary factors: his match sharpness and the system that Hasenhuttl decides to employ.
The boss has played with a 4-2-2-2 lately, indicating that Djenepo would have a good chance of coming in as the left-sided attacking midfielder, but Hasenhuttl could also revert to a five-at-the-back system, in which the Malian has played as a left wing-back.
Either way, it’s reassuring to know that Djenepo’s injury was not too serious, and it won’t be long before he’s back in action.