18 July 2024

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Jack Stephens: Southampton face nervous wait over fitness of defender | The Independent

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The defender has had knee problems recently and Saints hope the injury is nothing serious

The Southampton team is waiting nervously to find out how serious Jack Stephens’ injury was against Manchester City.

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In Saturday’s goalless draw against the Premier League winners, the 27-year-old defender was pulled off the field shortly before halftime after falling to the ground and clutching his right leg.

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Ralph Hasenhuttl, Stephens’ manager, has reason to be concerned as the player has recently struggled with a reoccurring knee ailment. It is hoped that the injury is a muscle issue, most likely hamstring.

“I’m not sure what it is, but he’s had knee issues.” I hope it’s not too horrible,” Hasenhuttl remarked.

He was a crucial player for us and was in excellent condition. We would not want an injury thus early in the season.

Hasenhuttl is likely to provide a fresh update on Stephens on Tuesday night, following Southampton’s Carabao Cup tie against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Southampton: 10 surprising stats from Saints' 2017/18 season

Meanwhile, Valentino Livramento continues to catch the eye, after another impressive performance at the Etihad Stadium.

The 18-year-old full-back, signed from Chelsea last month, has played his way straight into the team and started all five of Saints’ Premier League matches this season.

“Yes, I must say I’m super happy with this guy,” said Hasenhuttl. “He was run out of energy in the end so we took him off.

“He shows every week how strong he is and when you play against such players like these you have to be good and one against one he is.

“He never stays, he is always going and that’s what I want from him. Physically he is a good guy, a good height for a full-back, a fantastic player. But keep it calm – don’t talk too much about him!

“I tell him that he will play immediately when he comes to us and I think that was something that helped him decide on coming to us.

“Kyle Walker-Peters was in his position but Kyle is now on the left. That tells you everything because Kyle was very important last season.”

 

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