In our Southampton Loan Watch feature, the Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a selection of players from the club are doing whilst they are away from their home and provide a brief update regarding their progress.
Mohamed Elyounoussi has begun life north of the border with Celtic promisingly, scoring on his SPL debut for the club during their 1-0 win over Hamilton Academical a fortnight ago.
It was the Norwegian’s first game in the green and white hoops, which he followed up with a 57-minute appearance for the club in their Europa League draw with Rennes five days later.
During that match, Elyounoussi registered a pass completion rate of 82.6% (via WhoScored), which is a huge increase on what he averaged in his eight appearances for Saints last term (73.4%).
Unfortunately for the 25-year-old, he was an unused sub for the Bhoys’ latest league triumph on Saturday, with James Forrest and Ryan Christie preferred out wide by manager Neil Lennon as the SPL champions beat Kilmarnock 3-1, though he did feature against Partick Thistle in yesterday’s cup trouncing of the Stags, a game in which he failed to score.
Mario Lemina has now played three times for his temporary employers, Galatasaray.
The Gabon international came off the bench for his debut with the Turkish big-hitters against Kasimpasa a fortnight ago, playing 30 minutes. The 26-year-old then started the club’s next match against Yeni Malatyaspor a week later, but was substituted at half time.
Lemina made his European bow for Galatasaray last week, during the club’s 0-0 draw against Club Brugge in the group stages of the Champions League, starting the match but being subbed on the hour mark for midfielder Emre Mor, despite registering 3 tackles during his hour of action.
Things could be going better for Lemina in Turkey, it could be said. He is yet to get 90 minutes under his belt for Gala, potentially down to fitness, so will be hoping to play a full match this weekend in a huge fixture for the club against fierce league rivals Fenerbahce.
Saints striker Guido Carrillo made his 2019-20 debut for Leganes ten days ago, playing 45 minutes for the La Liga outfit as they were well beaten by Villarreal on home soil.
His second appearance went much smoother, however. The 28-year-old started for Mauricio Pellegrino’s men against Valencia at the weekend and notched an assist at the Mestalla Stadium as the club drew 1-1 with Albert Celades’ men. Even last night in the draw at home to Athletic Bilbao, the Argentine won the most aerial duels in his team (6, per WhoScored), as well as registering the joint-most key passes (2).
Steady work from the Argentine, who is now enjoying his second loan spell in La Liga with Leganes.
While we are still in the early stages of the campaign, none of the Saints’ loanees are currently doing much to prove they could have had a place in the first-team squad this season. Indeed, with the team beating fierce rivals Portsmouth away at Fratton Park, not a single player is looking like he’s missed.
That said, if Carrillo can build on his impressive performances for the Spaniards of late, perhaps he can command a transfer fee at the end of the season.
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