Southampton: What signing Djenepo could mean for the Saints squad next season

Southampton have reportedly agreed a deal with Belgian Jupiler Pro League side Standard Liege for forward Moussa Djenepo.

Multiple sources – including the Daily Echo and Sky Sports – covered the news on Wednesday and it looks like the 20-year-old will become Saints’ first signing of the summer for around £14m.

The Mali international will provide direct running, trickery and goals whilst also being capable of playing in a variety of attacking positions.

However, his signing could hint at things that Saints fans could see in the 2019/20 season.

Djenepo is a left-winger by trade, but that position in the team is currently taken by Nathan Redmond who enjoyed a superb run of form from December to May.

This could mean that the first Saints arrival of the summer could be used mainly as a striker, or that Redmond will be converted into an centre-forward himself.

Ralph Hasenhuttl prefers the 4-2-2-2 system and is expected to implement that long-term at Saints from next season, and this setup requires two attacking-midfielders.

Redmond thrived in one of these roles in 2018/19, so it could be that Djenepo takes up the second position of this type and leaves natural strikers to take up the central roles.

A striker is also likely to be coming in during this summer transfer window with options limited upfront and some attacking players expected to leave if offer come in for them.

One man that will return to Saints in pre-season is Sofiane Boufal and he could realistically be another attacking option for Hasenhuttl.

His attitude and work-rate may be a problem but his superior dribbling ability would make a motivated version of the Moroccan ideal in the 4-2-2-2.

However, the signing of Djenepo could mark the end of Boufal’s spell at St Mary’s.

He has flattered to deceive in his time in England and spent the 2018/19 campaign out on-loan at Celta Vigo.

With Hasenhuttl now given time to mould the squad that he wants for his high-pressing style, his signings may mark the departure of many other players too.