Southampton look a rejuvenated side under their new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl with the likes of Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse impressing in particular.
And on top of the English duo, Stuart Armstrong, who was already playing fairly well towards the end of Mark Hughes’ terrible reign at St. Mary’s, has also managed to put in some very promising performances in recent weeks.
At the £7m Southampton paid Celtic (BBC Sport) for the Scottish midfielder last summer, he is starting to look like a real bargain and perhaps the only good thing to come from Hughes’ time at the club.
After a lacklustre beginning at Southampton where he struggled to break into the starting XI, Armstrong burst into life in his side’s 3-2 Premier League defeat to Fulham back in November when he scored two well-executed goals, and has not looked back since then.
Armstrong has not been able to replicate that sort of goal-scoring display too often with the 26-year-old going on to find the back of the net in the Premier League on only one occasion following his brace at Fulham.
Yet, even without managing to add to his strikes against Fulham and Manchester United in the league, Armstrong has still been a threat and has brought so much to this Southampton side.
The Scotland international’s intelligent late runs into the box, which are almost Frank Lampard-esque, are causing defenders havoc, while the fearlessness he plays with is exactly what a team like Southampton needs with the thought of relegation last season really pushing some players into their shells — something which could easily happen again.
A year on, though, and the Saints look to be on course for less of a scrap at the bottom of the Premier League table. And if that turns out to be the case, then supporters will have Armstrong, among others including Hasenhuttl, to thank.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!