Football is a game about risks, and when they pay off, there is no better feeling. And Ralph Hasenhuttl was seemingly feeling that last weekend with Moussa Djenepo.
The Mali international had been a doubt leading up to the game due to a muscle injury, yet the winger featured in the clash against Sheffield United and proved to be the match-winner as the 21-year-old attacker’s solo effort was enough to seal the three points for Southampton.
Indeed, it was a decision that ultimately paid off for Hasenhuttl, who recently admitted to The Southern Daily Echo that Djenepo has been a welcome addition to the side, and that he is a player who can make a sizeable impact on the pitch.
The Austrian coach said: “He (Djenepo) is an exciting player, he’s also a fantastic character. The most important thing is he is fit now again because we had a problem with his legs after the Fulham game, so we missed him against Manchester United and he showed again he is a player that can make a difference.
His second goal of the season, the former Standard Liege attacker has taken to life in the Premier League as easy as a duck does to water, yet Hasenhuttl held his hands up and claimed that starting the youngster against the Blades was a risky play given his recent injury problems.
Hasenhuttl admitted: “He had a muscle injury and it was a risk at Sheffield United to let him play, that’s for sure, but this guy wanted to play and he said he was okay and he showed it and if a player wants to play you should let him do.”
With Bournemouth coming up next for the Saints and Djenepo likely to start, the Mali international is truly making life in the big leagues look easy, yet Hasenhuttl has been smart not to rush the youngster into things with an injury not past him yet.