Southampton duo Adam Armstrong and Mohammed Salisu have been named in the Premier League Team of the Week, as chosen by former Saints striker Alan Shearer.
Both players played key roles in Southampton’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Friday evening. Armstrong scored his first home goal with a superb half-volley early on, whilst Salisu was part of a defence that kept things tight and claimed another valuable clean sheet.
Comparing their overall performance so far this season, Salisu has had the better time and is quickly establishing himself as a key defender for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
Armstrong has scored just twice since his £15m move from Blackburn Rovers and has seen tough competition for a place in the side, but his recent displays have shown that he has the striker’s instinct to prove a hit in the Premier League.
Southampton’s hidden squad quality starting to shine through.
Southampton would have been tipped by many fans and pundits for a battle to beat the drop this season but now things are certainly looking brighter at St Mary’s.
They have made full use of a run of fixtures against teams around them in the top-flight table and are now unbeaten in four (three wins and a draw) with bottom club Norwich to play in the first game back after the international break.
There is a healthy six-point gap between Southampton and the bottom three now, whilst sixth-placed Manchester United are only three points off in the other direction.
Perhaps most importantly, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has several good options to change things if he needs to.
Against Aston Villa, he made use of his side’s potential to play a 3-5-2 system by switching from a 4-2-2-2 to thwart a second-half comeback from the visitors – sending on centre-back Lyanco for Stuart Armstrong.
Two quality options for each position in the team are also available right now as a good summer of recruitment looks to be paying off.