Southampton have recovered superbly after an awful start to the season as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s young side look set to be clear or relegation trouble, so why don’t we reveal a ranking of how they’ve performed?
Everyone loves a ranking.
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Below we give each Southampton player a grade, ranking and group them together based on their season(s) so far.
If a Southampton player is listed in this ranking it is because they’ve played in more than five games in all competitions.
Danny Ings: He has 15 goals in the Premier League and 18 in all competitions and his importance to Southampton cannot be understated. Ings grew up a few miles away from St Mary’s and loves being the hometown hero. He is now fully fit and his pace and pressing sets the tone for the entire team. Surely an England call up beckons. What a season for Ings.
Jan Bednarek: Nicknamed the ‘Polish Maldini’ by Saints fans for a reason, Bednarek times his tackles to perfection and reads the game well too. One of the only players who has been consistently excellent defensively. Still very young and is improving on the ball.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: The captain and leader in midfield, Hojbjerg has been linked with a move to some of the Premier League big boys with just one year left on his current contract. Hojbjerg hasn’t been as composed going forward as he was in previous seasons but his bite in the tackle, engine and power is perfect for a Hasenhuttl midfield player.
Alex McCarthy: Replaced Angus Gunn after the 9-0 drubbing and is a solid, reliable goalkeeper. Makes the odd mistake when coming off his line but overall he is very steady and has made some fun reaction stops throughout the season.
Jack Stephens: What a turnaround this guy has had. Stephens has arguably been Southampton’s most improved played and his partnership alongside Bednarek is a big reason why they turned their season around. Old school center back who can also spray the ball around when needed.
James Ward-Prowse: The academy product has popped up with some important goals and in the 4-2-2-2 formation he’s finally found a spot in the team alongside Hojbjerg in one of the deeper roles. His set pieces are sensational and he’s added extra aggression to his game.
Sofiane Boufal: The best way to describe his season is stop-start. A fans favorite who possesses more skill than any other player at the club, he can be so frustrating to watch. Boufal has picked up a few small injuries but when he’s at his best, he’s a magician on the wing. Can he stay fit?
Oriol Romeu: Always gives his all for the team but the Spaniard perhaps doesn’t fit Hasenhuttl’s high-pressing style that well. Solid and reliable but perhaps he may move on in the next six months.
Cedric Soares (left on loan to Arsenal)
Maya Yoshida (left on loan to Sampdoria)
Jannik Vestergaard: The towering Danish center back has never settled to the pace of the Premier League. He wins a lot in the air but so often he gets caught out of position. Vestergaard was an option for Leicester in January but Saints needed him as back up.
Che Adams: Look, this is tough. Adams ripped it up in the Championship and looked like a perfect signing but he has yet to score for Saints. He hit the post and bar early in the season and works so hard when he comes off the bench with some big-time assists. He is still young and Hasenhuttl believes in him and Obafemi.
Angus Gunn: Has never recovered from being in goal for the 9-0 drubbing to Leicester City and although he is still very young, he makes a lot of the same mistakes again and again.