Returning Southampton players pictured in pre-season training sessions

Kacper Wilkins
Kacper Wilkins
3 Min Read

Southampton have started pre-season training and pictures have shown a number of players who have returned to the club to take part.

Released on Saints’ official website, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Mario Lemina, Shane Long and Yan Valery taking part in drills alongside first-team regulars from last season and summer signing Romain Perraud.

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl will be casting an eye over all his options ahead of the upcoming season and these four players will be either hoping to impress or pursue moves to other clubs.

Yan Valery was also shown taking part in B team training from this week too and this could suggest he is set for a move away this summer.

Elyounoussi most likely to be given Southampton shot?

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Having had two impressive spells with Celtic, Moi Elyounoussi is most likely of all the returning players to be given a chance to show what he can do.

Capable of playing as a number 10 or a winger, he could fit in well with this squad of players and provide a useful option in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s 4-2-2-2 system.

The Norway international joined Saints from FC Basel back in 2018 but has been unable to live up to his £16m fee so far. Premier League football appeared too fast for his own style when he appeared under Mark Hughes’ management.

38 goal contributions in 67 games for Celtic will have seen his confidence rise once again though and familiar patterns of play return naturally. For that reason, he has earned his chance to become a regular at St Mary’s.

For Lemina, Long and Valery, things seem less clear. Lemina continues to be linked with moves after a solid loan spell with Fulham, whilst Long and Valery could be pushed out of plans by potential signings.

Squad depth will be important for Saints in 2021/22 after the injury issues that hampered their progress during the last campaign.

Players who took part in Saints training (via pictures): James Ward-Prowse, Danny Ings, Theo Walcott, Mohammed Salisu, Oriol Romeu, Jack Stephens, Moi Elyounoussi, Shane Long, Nathan Tella, Michael Obafemi, Kyle Walker-Peters, Mario Lemina, Yan Valery, Nathan Redmond, Romain Perraud

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