Southampton: It’s make or break time for Redmond

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Nathan Redmond of Southampton looks dejected after the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton at St. James Park on March 10, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Nathan Redmond of Southampton looks dejected after the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton at St. James Park on March 10, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images) /
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It’s not be an ideal season for Nathan Redmond – having struggled to nail down a starting place in the match day squad, it was clear former manager Mauricio Pellegrino did not rate him.

In fact, there was a stint of a month where the young England winger was often left in the reserves it seemed to all but end the idea that Redmond would be a key-man for Pellegrino.

The Argentine’s treatment of the former-Norwich star can be looked back on as borderline awful – many might disagree with this however, Redmond’s form and style of play this season somewhat warranting this stance.

But on a personal note – Mauricio Pellegrino’s tactical nouse and philosophy did not cater to the strengths of Redmond, and would therefore explain his lack of feature in this season. Though he is not the only one – with the likes of Manolo Gabbiadini, Sofiane Boufal and Mario Lemina also having been benched for questionable reason during the campaign.

Since, the heavily out-of-favour Pellegrino was sent packing and Premier League proven Mark Hughes was introduced as Southampton’s new coach – in the hope of igniting, a much needed turn of results.

Next: Austin thrilled with Hughes' impact

COVENTRY, ENGLAND – JANUARY 06: Mark Hughes, Manager of Stoke City looks on prior to The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Coventry City and Stoke City at Ricoh Arena on January 6, 2018 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
COVENTRY, ENGLAND – JANUARY 06: Mark Hughes, Manager of Stoke City looks on prior to The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Coventry City and Stoke City at Ricoh Arena on January 6, 2018 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images) /

So, where does Nathan Redmond now stand following Hughes’ appointment? – We’ll for starters, the former striker had tried to sign the Saints winger for Stoke City back in 2014 – whilst he was still at Norwich City.

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Of course we all know that this deal did not materialise, though the reasons for why are unknown – what we do know though is that Hughes clearly rated Redmond, and probably still does right now.

With this, despite it being one game against Wigan (League 1 side), it is clear to see that the way Hughes wanted Saints to play – suits the strengths of Nathan Redmond, and makes use of his best attributes in pace and dribbling.

Replacing Sofiane Boufal against Wigan in the second-half, Redmond gave Southampton’s new boss a lot to think about – playing a brilliant through ball that won a penalty, and also indirectly playing Cedric in on goal to make it 2-0 in being direct with the ball.

Though this took encouragement from the side-lines in Hughes and his coaching staff – Redmond showed that he has the ability and potential to cause other teams problems when he is applied at his best.

With what is now a tricky fixture-list till the end of the season, Hughes will need to get the best out of Redmond, where he fits in with record-signings in Boufal, Gabbiadini and Guido Carrillo, and a returning Charlie Austin is another question for the manager to decide.

However, given if Redmond can hit top form, it might just help prevent the inedible in which would see Southampton relegated, and also prove Redmond’s capabilities as a top-flight player – and incredibly slim England chances.