Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse has praised fellow midfielder Filip Djuricic following his first start for the club, telling TalkSport that he’s expecting big things from the new man.
Djuricic, 23, joined the Saints on a season-long loan from Benfica hours before the transfer deadline, having spent the first half of the campaign at Bundesliga outfit Mainz 05.
The Serbia international was given the call for the weekend’s visit of Liverpool after making his debut as a late substitute in the 0-0 draw with West Ham United earlier this month and, despite a disappointing 2-0 defeat, Ward-Prowse was left more than impressed with his impact.
He had shown throughout the week that he has good quality on the ball," he said. "He works hard as well and is enthusiastic.
"He wants to get on the ball. I think it's promising, it was his first Premier League start and he did very well and I am sure there will be plenty more from him."
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Djuricic was in thick of the action on Sunday afternoon, twice seeing penalty appeals turned down and, while he was pleased to get his first Premier League start, couldn’t help but feel disappointed at how the game unfolded.
“I was really happy to start, especially against Liverpool,” he told the club’s official website. “I’m really disappointed that we lost, but that’s football. I’m always giving my best and I will prepare for the next game.
“The first penalty there was contact but in the end the referee didn’t take action. I think the second one was more of a penalty, but that’s football.
“It’s difficult, especially when you concede a goal, a really good goal, so fast. We gave our best. Maybe we should have been more direct in our offensive line but we didn’t have the luck to take the points.”
Djuricic first made a name for himself in Eredivisie after joining Heerenveen from hometown club Radnicki Obrenovac in 2010, scoring 26 goals in 111 appearances before sealing a €6 million move to Benfica in 2013.
With the Saints still in the fight for a top-four place with 12 fixtures remaining, manager Ronald Koeman will hope his new signing can replicate some of that past form to help his side beat the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur to a Champions League spot.