Steven Davis withdraws from Northern Ireland squad - what could it mean for Southampton?

St Marys Southampton

Southampton midfielder Steven Davis has withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad ahead of their qualifier with Romania.

Southampton midfielder Steven Davis has been withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad to take on Romania in their Euro 2016 qualifer.

It represents a big blow for Michael O'Neill's side with the loss of their captain, as they look to build on their excellent start to their qualification campaign, which has seen them take maximum points from their opening three games.

Davis suffered a hamstring injury during the first half of the Saints' 2-0 win over Leicester City at St Mary's on Saturday.

The news could be regarded as bitter sweet for Southampton as they at least know the midfielder will not be risked by his country for this particular game.

However, if he were to play for his country, it would at least represent that his injury isn't so serious, though that may have been represented by joining up with the national side anyway.

Davis has appeared in all 11 Premier League games for the Saints this season as their impressive start to the campaign has seen them climb to second in the table - with some talk of them becoming improbable title challengers, or challengers for the Champions League places this term.

He has also played in every League Cup game as ambitions of silverware are becoming all the more realistic with Ronald Koeman's side in the quarter-finals of the competition, and face a trip to Sheffield United of League One.

A statement on the Southampton website confirmed he would return to the club to continue his treatment - but hamstring injuries can be diffcult injuries to judge. However, given that he tried to make himself available for Northern Ireland, one would assume that it won't be as long as six weeks.

There are difficult games on the horizon. Immediately after the international break, Saints face Aston Villa at Villa Park before three incredibly difficult fixtures against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United which will test their credentials as possible candidates for the Champions League places.

As a result, Southampton will want one of their more regular members of the side available for a difficult period that's about to face them.

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