Since arriving at St. Mary’s to replace Mark Hughes as Southampton manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl has not been afraid to experiment with his attack.
And amid all of that experimenting, Saints academy graduate Josh Sims has managed to get some real opportunities on the pitch, opportunities which he has taken.
Sims played a vital role in Southampton’s recent win over Wolves, setting up the first of Nathan Redmond’s two goals in a performance that left his Austrian boss delighted.
“I am very happy with him [Sims] because he deserved to play from the beginning. As a substitute he showed that he can help us with his speed,” Hasenhuttl told Southampton’s official club website after the game.
“He had a good chance to score, unfortunately he didn’t, but I think he is another part and a different player which we need in our team. It is always good if you can surprise the opponent a little bit with new players and that’s what I like.”
Not blessed with plenty of options out wide, it would not be a surprise to see Hasenhuttl continue to use Sims regularly until the end of the season.
With his pace and dribbling, the 22-year-old has looked like a real threat whenever he has played and seems a good fit for the way Hasenhuttl wants to play.
Bearing that in mind, Sims could end up saving the former RB Leipzig boss and Southampton millions.
The Saints have had rotten luck with the wide players they have signed recently. Both Mohamed Elyounoussi and Sofiane Boufal have struggled at St. Mary’s, leaving the club needing to do something about those wing positions.
But if Sims can continue to develop and perform under Hasenhuttl, then dipping into the transfer market for another winger may become less of a priority for the Premier League outfit this summer.