Southampton have announced their first signing of the summer by snapping up Moussa Djenepo from Standard Leige for a reported fee of £14 million. The 20 year old had a breakout campaign in the 2018/19 season. The 20 year old Mali International is currently on AFCON duty, but will look to help Southampton improve upon their disappointing 16th place finish last season.
Ralph Hasenhuttl believes that Djenepo has the ability and right profile to succeed in the Premier League. “We are very happy to welcome Moussa as the first new player to join our team ahead of the upcoming season,” he told Southampton’s website. “He is an exciting player, with tremendous pace and good finishing abilities, who we have watched closely for some time.”
“He combines his quality with a good mentality and he is the right profile of player that we want to sign – still in the early part of his career, already with a lot of talent, but also with a great amount of potential that I believe we can help him to fulfil. I think he will be an excellent fit for our style of play and shape, and these are the important characteristics we must look for.”
Djenepo spent his youth career in Mali with Yeelen Olympique. In January 2017, Standard Leige took him on loan with an option to buy and he was eventually signed on a permanent deal when his buyout clause was activated in May 2017.
Djenepo made his debut against Club Brugge where they lost 4-0. He was a part of the squad which beat Genk 1-0 in the Belgian Cup final and they also qualified for the Champions League qualifiers, where they lost to the eventual Semi Finalists Ajax.
His second season with Standard Leige was when he really came into form and his performances helped the club to a 3rd place finish in the Belgium Division A League. He scored 7 goals and provided 3 assists in 25 league appearances, which for a youngster were pretty impressive figures. It was in the Europa League where he was particularly impressive with 3 goals, 3 assists in 5 appearances as they finished 3rd in their group.
All in all, 2018/19 season was the season which caught the eye of Southampton, as he had a total of 17 goal involvements (11G and 6A) in 39 appearances.
Internationally, Djenepo featured on 3 occasions for the Mali U-20’s and has subsequently been called up for the senior side having now featured on 9 occasions, scoring just the one goal.
Fantasy Football Potential
Fantasy managers might be worried by the fact that he is coming from a much inferior, less aggressive league. It can go either way. He can either be the next Sadio Mane or the next Mohamed Elyounoussi who in similar circumstances, came from a much inferior league but one flourished and the other didn’t contribute to any goals or assists in 785 minutes and had an ownership of 0.1%.
His signature might show that Hasenhuttl will probably go for his preferred 4-2-2-2 formation after using 3-5-2 at the end of last. He is a pacey, quick, left sided winger who can also play on the right wing as well as a No.10.
He will be expected to play on either with Redmond on the other side which will be a good sign for the Saints. He will be a cheap option, similar to a Deulofeu or Kamara but it is expected that managers will take their time before making any decisions about him. So, a price of around £5.5m-£6.5m should be ideal for an unproven, young winger who might not start every game.
Southampton’s opening five fixtures include; Burnley (A), Liverpool (H), Brighton (A), Manchester United (H) and Sheffield United (A). This is a bit of a mixed bag, with 2 very tough home fixtures coupled with 3 away fixtures, so it may depend on the price of Southampton players as to whether FPL managers invest in them at the start of the season.
Written by Tamish Behal (@Tamish_Behal)