Ralph Hasenhuttl has admitted that Moussa Djenepo’s leg injury is worse than first originally thought.
Speaking to the press via Sky Sports News, the Austrian manager confirmed that the winger is facing an extended period out of action after damaging tendons in his leg, an injury that saw Djenepo miss Southampton’s Premier League tie against Bournemouth and last night’s much-anticipated clash with Portsmouth in the League Cup.
Hasenhuttl said: “It can take longer until he is back in the team, which is not really good for us that he could be longer out. It’s a very difficult injury because the tendon is a little bit hurt and it’s a big risk to take him on the pitch. He still has problems with his muscle and he cannot shoot.”
Djenepo has been a frustrating yet uplifting figure for Southampton this season.
The Mali international scored vital goals against Brighton and Sheffield United in the Saints’ only two league wins of the season, yet reoccurring injuries have seen the youngster miss out on some games as numbers from Transfermarkt show.
Injury to Djenepo has seen Hasenhuttl change around the Southampton system due to a lack of wide-attacking options, with the Austrian manager shifting to a 4-2-2-2 formation in the absence of the 21-year-old rather than the usual 3-4-3 when the former Standard Liege attacker is available as stats from Transfermarkt show.
Yet despite being Southampton’s top goal scorer this season, it seemingly appears that Djenepo’s goals have come down to luck more than constant attacking intent.
As xG numbers from Understat show, the youngster is outperforming his true progressive output, with the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Che Adams having a higher xG despite both players being unable to find the net this season.