Chelsea loanee Armando Broja got off the mark for Southampton with two goals in the 8-0 League Cup win at Newport County.
The 19-year-old Albanian international arrived on the South Coast with a strong reputation having been labelled as one of the best talents to come through Chelsea’s highly-successful academy setup.
He opened the scoring in Saints’ biggest ever away win by finishing smartly from close-range after Nathan Redmond had struck the bar.
Then, in the second-half with score already at 5-0, he latched onto a Moi Elyounoussi pass and clipped neatly in to wrong-foot Newport’s goalkeeper and complete his brace.
Southampton’s new squad depth gives Hasenhuttl food for thought
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The youngster clearly has an eye for goal and proved that in a successful loan spell with Vitesse in the Netherlands in 2020/21. Now he will be focussed on competing with Adam Armstrong, Che Adams and Nathan Tella for a starting berth in the Premier League.
Broja is not the only player who made his mark on Wednesday night’s game.
Moi Elyounoussi scored a hat-trick that saw him find the net for the first time in a Saints shirt. He was originally signed back in 2018 but spent two seasons on loan with Celtic after an unhappy start at St Mary’s.
His impressive form in Glasgow has earned him another opportunity in English football though and he will have given Ralph Hasenhuttl something to think about with his first goals and first two assists.
Nathan Redmond also looked very lively in scoring and providing another assist, whilst Nathan Tella’s goal will be another small step in his development as a player.
All this is great for Saints boss Hasenhuttl given that the club signed players to add significant depth to his squad this summer and they seem to be proving their worth.
If the second string 11 can continue to train and be motivated as they are now, then perhaps a long cup run is not too unachievable.