Teenager Dynel Simeu is in contention to make his Premier League debut when Southampton host Wolves on Sunday.
While Tino Livramento has wasted no time in forcing his way into Ralph Hasenhuttl’s XI, starting every one of the club’s five top-flight games so far, another former Chelsea youngster has been forced to bide his time.
Despite being eight months older than the jet-heeled right-back, Simeu has been restricted to U23 football since making the trip from Stamford Bridge to St Mary’s in July.
Southampton may give Dynel Simeu his debut vs Wolves
The fact Simeu was conspicuous by his absence during Southampton U23s’ Premier League Cup clash with West Bromwich Albion last night didn’t go unnoticed either.
Was the teenager being rested ahead of this weekend’s fixture?
While Jan Bednarek and Mohammed Salisu are likely to start at centre-half against Wolverhampton Wanderers, a long-term injury blow to in-form Jack Stephens may open a window of opportunity for the ambitious Simeu.
According to Hampshire Live, Stephens faces up to three months on the sidelines, a bitter pill to swallow given how impressively the home-grown 27-year-old has performed during the opening weeks of the season.
Southampton have kept clean sheets in each of their past two games, including a goalless draw with Manchester City at the Etihad last time out.
The club’s second string, however, hasn’t looked quite as secure. Without Simeu to hold the fort, Southampton U23s suffered a humiliating 6-0 home thrashing by West Brom on Thursday.