Southampton opinion: Three ways the Saints can line up with Moussa Djenepo
The Telegraph has reported that Southampton have completed the signing of Standard Liege starlet Moussa Djenepo. The 20-year-old versatile attacker has been in great form for the Belgian side, finishing his season with 11 goals and 6 assists in all competitions.
The Saints desperately needed someone like Moussa Djenepo at the club, especially given the way the likes of Mohamed Elyounoussi, Josh Sims, and a few others struggled over the course of the season.
It was a tense and tough time, one that the club cannot go through again, especially now that they have someone like Ralph Hassenhuttl at the helm.
The former RB Leipzig manager proved to be the change that the club needed and with him at the helm, the Saints surged out of the relegation zone.
They ended up in the 16th position, which is pretty impressive given the fact that Hassenhuttl only arrived in December.
A left-winger in a 4-2-2-2
Towards the end of the season, Hassenhuttl switched things up and started using a 4-2-2-2 which is also known as a 4-4-2 double six. It’s a rather entertaining formation and one that allows for a lot of interchanges, thanks to the double six.
But that is exactly where the problem lies for Southampton, as it means that they often have to use James Ward-Prowse as a winger. While he’s a talented star, the 24-year-old is a far cry from the winger that the system calls for and it’s where Moussa Djenepo will step right in.
Direct, pacy and a lethal finisher, the 20-year-old has a bright future and his versatility will help the club. His ability to cut in and pop goals will help Southampton flourish and maybe make a lot more use of the wings.
An attacking-midfielder in a 4-2-3-1
While Hassenhuttl hasn’t used the 4-2-3-1 quite often, it’s still a formation that’s a part of his locker and their biggest issue is the lack of an attacking midfielder. Once again, it’s where Moussa Djenepo steps in and his aforementioned versatility will be a big help.
He’s often been used as a number 10 and his directness, combined with his agility and speed will help him thrive. Not only that, he averaged a rather impressive 1.6 shots per game, 2.2 dribbles and 0.6 key passes per game last season.
Combine that with his ambidextrous nature and it should allow Djenepo to make a big difference on either side.
A right-winger in a 4-3-3
With the kind of players that Hassenhuttl does have, it’s only a matter of time before the 4-3-3 comes into play. It’s a rather versatile formation but it’s one that needs the right players, which is why it hasn’t been used a lot by Hassenhuttl.
That’s exactly where someone like Moussa Djenepo will walk into the team and his lightning pace, quick feet and impressive dribbling skills will make a big difference.
It would see him paired alongside Nathan Redmond and Danny Ings up front, with Oriol Romeu, James Ward-Prowse and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg playing in the middle.
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However, what will make the formation tick and work brilliantly is Moussa Djenepo’s work-ethic. The 20-year-old is a hard-working star and that will ease right-back Jan Valery’s burden.