Southampton took a calculated gamble last summer when they brought Kevin Danso in from Augsburg on a season-long loan deal.
Ralph Hasenhuttl wanted to add to his defence but saw time running short when the chance to sign the young Austrian international came up.
In the end, the announcement of Danso’s arrival came in the day after the transfer window had closed – the lateness of the move hinting that he was perhaps not Saints’ first-choice.
However, he had spent his early years in England and had been in the same youth ranks at MK Dons as England man Dele Alli, so there was a strong knowledge of English football to help him settle in.
The 21-year-old had also had good experience of senior football having made 44 appearances for Augsburg and six for Austria’s senior team.
He couldn’t have asked for more game time just after he arrived at Saints either.
Two starts at left-back came in the league as Saints claimed four points from an away meeting with Brighton and a home clash with Manchester United.
Danso even set up his side’s equaliser against United when he bent in a perfect cross onto the head of Jannik Vestergaard, and the big Dane did the rest by planting a strong header into the corner of the net.
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Another start in between those appearances came for him in the League Cup win at Fulham, but this time he played in his natural position at centre-back.
Since then though, time on the pitch has been limited for Danso. Just four more starts were handed to him by Hasenhuttl, and one of them was certainly not a good experience for him.
He started the 9-0 loss to Leicester City and was one of the defenders who looked really out of sorts that day – he was even replaced at half-time as his manager tried, and failed, to stop an embarrassing result for the club.
Cup football has since provided the most time on the pitch for Danso, but it’s fair to say that he never really got the chance to put things right after the Leicester game where others perhaps did.
Saints were said to have an exclusive option to buy him this summer if they feel he can grow into a regular at the club, but it looks as though this will not happen after his limited impact.
It is still possible that they see something in him that we as fans can’t. He certainly has the physical attributes that would suggest potential as a top level defender.
However, the fact that he seems to have a lot to work on to improve his all-round game may cause Saints to move on to other targets that could prove a bigger success.