Southampton go into Saturday’s game against Leicester City having taken just one point from their first two Premier League fixtures.
The Saints played out a boring 0-0 draw against Burnley at St. Mary’s before losing 2-1 away at Goodison Park to Everton last weekend.
Neither performance was the worst Southampton supporters would have seen from their side though — or at least compared to last season — and, while there were some positives to take away for manager Mark Hughes such as the display of deadline-day signing Danny Ings, there are still many things the former Stoke City boss needs to address.
In their previous campaign, scoring goals was a big issue for Southampton and a large reason as to why the club found themselves in a relegation battle.
But, as well as their efficiency in front of goal, creating chances in the first place was a difficult challenge at times as well and now looks to be some thing the club have transferred over to the new season.
The likes of Mohamed Elyounoussi and Stuart Armstrong were brought in to address this but, with both players having struggled for fitness in the past couple of weeks, neither have been able to make the early impact Hughes would have liked.
Ultimately, Southampton are missing £13.5m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Dusan Tadic, who left the club for Eredivisie side Ajax in the summer.
And, although he often blew hot and cold, the Serbian was still the team’s most creative outlet.
Tadic’s replacement Elyounoussi could still obviously come good, but the absence of the Serbia international — or a similar type of player — in Southampton’s starting XI is hurting the team.
The strikeforce of Ings and Charlie Austin will continue to do their best up front and has looked like a threat.
However, as well as the pair, Hughes needs a player like Tadic in his team, which he could still yet get once Elyounoussi is firmly up and running.