It would come as a "blow" to Southampton if Nathan Redmond is unavailable for tomorrow's Premier League clash with Aston Villa, according to the Sun journalist Tom Barclay.
There are growing fears that Redmond will miss out after failing to appear in photographs taken at Saints' Staplewood training ground in preparation for Villa's visit to St Mary's.
What's the latest news involving Redmond?
Redmond has been a key player for Southampton this season, missing just one Premier League fixture.
However, he has become somewhat of a divisive figure at St Mary's over the years, with Saints fans being left frustrated by the 27-year-old's lack of consistency, but boss Ralph Hasenhuttl leapt to Redmond's defence last month.
Despite his extended run in the team, Redmond has still failed to find the back of the net in the top flight since the 3-2 win over Burnley in April.
It has resulted in Hasenhuttl admitting that the pressure is on Redmond, as an attacking player, to deliver the goods in the final third of the pitch.
However, it appears as though he may not get the chance to shine when Villa make the trip to the south coast as Redmond has been a notable absentee from Saints' training gallery this week.
What has Tom Barclay said about Redmond?
Although Redmond has not been so prolific in front of goal and glaringly missed a golden opportunity against Burnley, Barclay feels Redmond's absence would hamper Hasenhuttl's side.
The journalist feels Redmond is in fine form, having claimed two assists in his last three outings, and reckons the Southampton faithful will be hoping the winger's absence from in-house media photographs is nothing to worry about.
When asked about Redmond's potential absence, Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: "That is a blow. It's ironic because he's often the most divisive player amongst the Southampton fanbase due to his inconsistency.
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"He's only 27 but, after all these Premier League games, they're maybe right or fair to expect a bit more consistency, albeit wingers are probably the most inconsistent players in the team.
"Now, based on his recent form, they'll see it as a bit of a blow if he's not fit."
Why would Redmond's absence come as a blow?
Southampton are preparing to face a Villa side who have lost their last four matches in succession, so there will be a lack of confidence within Dean Smith's camp.
Although Redmond's only goal came in the Carabao Cup thrashing of Newport County in August, he would have fancied his chances of causing an out-of-sorts defence plenty of problems.
Villa's loss of form has led to criticism of head coach Smith, who opted to drop club captain Tyrone Mings against West Ham United last week.
They will also be without Ezri Konsa following his red card against the Hammers, which could play into Southampton's hands.News Now - Sport News