How to judge Ross Wilson’s time at Southampton?
According to the Daily Echo, the 36-year-old is increasingly likely to leave the St Mary’s to become Rangers’ new director of football, where he will be tasked of stepping into the void created by the recent departure of Mark Allen.
But for every Saints fan who credits Wilson for helping to establish the club in the Premier League over five years, with his ability to spot diamonds in the rough and his role in the appointment of Ralph Hasenhuttl proving particularly popular, there will be those who will take aim at a number of ill-fated, big-money signings.
One of those is now playing a few miles down the road from Rangers, wearing the green and white hoops of their Old Firm rivals Celtic.
Wilson was still pulling the shots at Southampton when Mohamed Elyounoussi arrived from Basel in a £16 million deal in the summer of 2018. After producing 13 goals and 17 assists in his final season in Switzerland, not to mention running Manchester City ragged in the Champions League, big things were expected of the Norway international.
But just eight starts, no goals and no assists later, Elyounoussi was on his way to Celtic to rebuild a reputation which had taken a battering at Southampton. He certainly looks a lot sharper in Scotland, producing a Man of the Match performance in the Europa League revenge mission against Cluj last week.
In truth, it is far too soon to write off an explosive 23-year-old who is hardly short of quality or potential. By the time he returns to St Mary's, his confidence should be through the roof while his work rate and versatility means he looks a good fit for a Hasenhuttl side on paper.
For now, however, Elyounoussi’s dreadful debut season on the South Coast remains a stick with which to beat Wilson as he embarks on a new step in his career.
Guido Carrillo, Mario Lemina, Wesley Hoedt and a few others failed to live up to their price-tags at Southampton too but Elyounoussi was arguably the most disappointing of the lot.
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