Jose who? Saints youngster Jack Stephens shines in Anfield win

Liverpool's Divock Origi goes down in the area after a challenge by Southampton's Jack Stephens however a penalty is not awarded

The Saints defender starred in their 1-0 victory at Anfield, as Claude Puel's men reached the EFL Cup Final.

As Southampton continue to bask in their 1-0 EFL Cup semi-final victory at Anfield versus Liverpool on Wednesday night, the name of one of their newest but brightest prospects is on the lips of many a Saints fan.

Standing in for Virgil van Dijk in the heart of Claude Puel's defence, Jack Stephens showed the sort of performance that can make a player, and with the backline still on paper smarting from the departure of skipper Jose Fonte.

Southampton's Shane Long scores their first goalSouthampton's Shane Long scores their first goal

In just his second appearance for the South coast side, the man who signed from Plymouth Argyle back in 2011 for a fee of £150,000 - as reported by BBC Sport - shut Jurgen Klopp's men out en route to Southampton's first League Cup final since 1979.

Having spent the last two seasons on loan at Swindon Town, Middlesbrough and Coventry, the Saints defender was a figure of composure and above all timing.

Stephens' numbers on the night in Merseyside were nothing short of impeccable.

Over the course of 90 minutes, according to whoscored, the 23 year-old made a phenomenal 19 clearances - the most of any player on the pitch. Together with central-defensive partner Maya Yoshida, the duo dealt with Liverpool danger a total of 34 times.  

Liverpool's Divock Origi goes down in the area after a challenge by Southampton's Jack Stephens however a penalty is not awardedLiverpool's Divock Origi goes down in the area after a challenge by Southampton's Jack Stephens however a penalty is not awarded

Jack Stephens was involved in a disputed stoppage-time penalty decision involving Divock Origi, but referee Jon Moss' call not to award a spot kick underlined the defender's display on the night.

Stephens made two tackles and interception, but also won three aerial duels in a performance that belied his relative youth and inexperience.

Serdar Tasci of Bayern Munich celebratesSerdar Tasci of Bayern Munich celebrates

As The Sun reports that Virgil van Dijk may miss three months of action, coupled with the recent departure of Fonte to West Ham United, Stephens may be looking at a regular starting berth for the next few weeks and possibly months.

That may yet be tempered however by rumours in The Daily Mail that Claude Puel may be looking to seal a short-term loan for Spartak Moscow defender Serdar Tasci.

But perhaps, Puel would be wiser to consider an already available alternative. Southampton fans raved at the showing of Jack Stephens at Liverpool and given the chance, that may be the first of many. 

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