Premier League

Hughes’ first job as Southampton boss must be to axe this £13.5m-rated star against Wigan

Southampton supporters have been pretty jubilant in the Transfer Tavern this week following the sacking of manager Mauricio Pellegrino on Monday, who has since been replaced by former Saints striker Mark Hughes.

46-year-old Pellegrino was relieved of his duties earlier this week following his side’s 3-0 drubbing at the hands of fellow Premier League relegation candidates Newcastle on Saturday, a result which leaves them just a point clear of danger. And with only five wins from their 30 league matches this term, the Saints hierarchy decided to make a change, with ex-Stoke City boss Hughes taking over from the Spaniard on a deal until the end of the season, with the brief to keep the South Coast outfit in the top-flight.

As such, there have been many happy Southampton fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping that the Welshman can get his stint as manager off to the perfect start when they visit League One high-flyers Wigan Athletic in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Sunday.

And several of our resident Saints supporters have been discussing who should start against the Latics this weekend, with many hoping that Hughes’ first job as the new boss will be to axe £13.5 million-rated Dusan Tadic (as per Transfermarkt) for the encounter.

Frankly, any of the 11 players that started Southampton’s defeat at Newcastle last weekend could be dropped on Sunday, such was the horrendous performance on show, but Serbia international Tadic has been poor for many weeks now.

The 29-year-old has scored just once in his last 12 games in all competitions for the Saints, and has managed a paltry three goals and three assists in 28 Premier League appearances for the club this term to underline his ineffectiveness in the final third.

But last weekend’s woeful display at St James’ Park must see Tadic dropped from the starting eleven this time round – he was so bad that Pellegrino replaced him at half-time against the Magpies.

And it’s hardly a surprise why as in his 45-minute cameo in the North East, the 29-year-old failed to create a single chance, failed to make a single take-on, made just 20% of his tackles attempted, and committed two fouls – it was a disaster.

Having a new manager in place ahead of the Wigan game could well help Tadic’s cause in retaining his place, but the Serbian star did nothing last week against Newcastle and very little in the weeks previous to suggest that he deserves another start this time round.

As such, Hughes’ first job as Southampton manager should be to axe the 29-year-old from the starting eleven against Paul Cook’s giant-killing Latics this weekend.

Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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