April 18, 2024

Moussa Djenepo, who left Southampton in the summer, is struggling to rekindle his stagnant career.

Moussa Djenepo joined Southampton for a fee of up to £15 million in the summer of 2019, after being touted as a player with immense potential following a season in which he scored 11 goals and gave six assists for Belgian club Standard Liege.

After a promising start to life at St Mary’s, with a fantastic goal away at Brighton followed by a fine solo effort against Sheffield United in the early weeks of the 2019/20 season, it is fair to say Djenepo’s moments of quality were far too infrequent during his four years at Southampton.

His inconsistency was frustrating at times, and the contract extension signed by the Mali international following a handful of decent performances in an unfamiliar left-back post at the start of the 2022/23 season demonstrates the club’s previous owners’ incompetence.

Djenepo, 25, was a casualty of Southampton’s summer squad restructure following the club’s relegation from the Premier League last season. The winger returned to previous club Standard Liege for a small amount, believed to be under £3 million, but has struggled to make an impact.

Moussa Djenepo unfulfilled potential at Southampton

Following the aforementioned single performance against Sheffield United in Djenepo’s first start for the club in September 2019, then manager Ralph Hasenhuttl remarked that: “He (Djenepo) shows how important he can be in our game and this is fantastic,”

The Austrian coach went on to explain, “When he has the ball in these positions, it’s unbelievable.” “He can shoot, is quick, and has good movements.”

Ironically, Djenepo’s unpredictability is perhaps both his greatest strength and his basic shortcoming. The crafty wide player may delight with his trickery at times, but it would go wrong more frequently than it went right, and he did not iron out the raw components of his game as Southampton would have hoped.

After only five goals in 91 Southampton games, Southampton trimmed their losses and let Djenepo leave despite his recent new contract, as it was clear he did not fit new manager Russell Martin’s style of play.

Those who do not fit Martin’s possession-focused style, which remained at the club last summer, are likely to meet the same fate as Djenepo after the current season ends.

Djenepo struggling to make an impact since Southampton exit

Djenepo: 'I know my quality because I did it before' - Southampton star  knocks Manchester City out of Carabao Cup | Goal.com Nigeria

 

 

 

Djenepo’s return to the club he left as a 20-year-old sparked excitement among Standard Liege supporters, but his first season back has been extremely disappointing.

Djenepo has played 22 games in all competitions this season and scored one goal. Furthermore, Hasenhuttl referred to the player as a ‘role model’ when he signed his new Southampton contract, yet he has yet to record an assist.

Sometimes goal contributions do not accurately reflect a player’s effect on the field, however this is not the case with Djenepo. In many respects, the underlying figures are more troubling than the actual amount of goals and assists, with Djenepo managing only two shots on goal this season despite starting 19 league games.

Another figure that will come as no surprise to Southampton fans and demonstrates the inconsistency alluded to is Djenepo’s dribble success percentage of 44.12% in the Belgian top league this season.

Djenepo’s biggest disappointment since leaving Southampton is that he was left out of the Mali team for the African Cup of Nations owing to an injury, from which he returned in mid-January. Despite his dismal season, Djenepo was expected to make the Ivory Coast tournament squad with 33 international caps.

He may be capable of flashes of brilliance, but Djenepo’s attempts to regain the form that propelled him to the Premier League in 2019 have so far failed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *