Moussa Djenepo – 7
If Djenepo’s final ball was just a little better, one senses that he could be capable of playing at the very top but his showing against West Ham was ultimately frustrating and impressive in equal measure.
More direct than Redmond on the other flank, Djenepo does not struggle with beating the defender but his tendency to hold on to the ball for an extra second can allow opposition defenders the time to recover and get the block in. In fairness, Djenepo worked hard for the common cause and there are early signs of a decent relationship forming with Perraud down the left hand side.
His willingness to defend is admirable and it is easy to see what his manager sees in him. Indeed, at just 23 years old, there is still plenty of time for the Malian winger to mature into a fine player.
James Ward-Prowse – 6
As usual, there was no lack of industry from the Saints skipper but in an unfamiliar advanced role, he looked ill at ease and Ward-Prowse struggled to make his mark on the game until Diallo came on for Romeu. At this point, he dropped deeper and started to be more involved in dictating the play but without a partner in place of the double pivot usually employed, he did look lost at times.
More surprisingly, his set pieces did not pose any real threat until Broja was introduced into action after the 70 minute mark. Ralph Hasenhuttl will need his star midfielder to step up if Saints are to have any chance of pinching unlikely points away at Manchester City and Chelsea.
Oriol Romeu – 6
The Spaniard worked tirelessly in the first half but as with his usual partner Ward-Prowse, there points where he needed another holding player to offer an option. For the most part Romeu looked tidy and did the usual dirty work in unfussy style, earning his customary yellow card early on.
Perhaps wary of the yellow card, he was substituted by his manager in the 52nd minute for Diallo but Romeu deserves credit for his part in keeping Antonio, Benhrama and Bowen quiet.
Nathan Redmond – 4
There is no doubting his work rate or indeed his natural talent but at some point, the Redmond experiment will have to cease. He wasted one of Southampton’s few chances in the 50th minute after being played through by Adam Armstrong.
Too often, Redmond opts for the easy option or will turn back on himself in promising situations. If he was more effective in front of goal, there would be more willingness to be forgiving of his wastefulness but at this point of time, Redmond is blocking the likes of Tella’s path to the first team.
Mohammed Elyounoussi – 6.5
Flashes of brilliance complimented an energetic performance from Elyounoussi against West Ham but doubts still persist about whether he creates enough in the number ten position. Nevertheless, he relished the physical battle and at times, there was something quite Tadic esque about the way he plays.
The 4-1-4-1 didn’t bring out the best of him or Ward-Prowse but the post match interview from Hasenhuttl suggests he may look to persevere with this pairing in behind the lone striker