Gaston Ramirez is yet to make a start in the Premier League for Southampton this season, but the Uruguayan impressed in the Capital One cup win last night.
The 22-year-old midfielder, who joined Saints for £12million from Bologna last season, has struggled to live up to his hefty price tag since his move to England.
However, making his first start of the season in the Capital One Cup win over Bristol City last night, Ramirez put in an impressive performance, opening the scoring with a spectacular volley.
Jos Hooiveld's header secured a 2-0 win for the Saints, as a team with 11 changes from the win over Liverpool, cruised to victory and into the last 32 of the Capital One cup.
Saints could, and perhaps should, have won by more than a 2-0 scoreline, but fine saves from City keeper Elliot Parish denied Ramirez a second.
Southampton's assistant manager Jesus Perez, spoke after the game.
“It was a great goal (from Gaston) but we think the more important thing for him was the opportunity to play 90 minutes."
“He came late in the summer and joined late in pre-season and the breaks with the national team don’t help him to get the best performances and it was good for him to play 90 minutes."
“All players have to be in the best physical performance, the best peak of form, to try to play in the team."
“There are different levels because not all the players have the same number of training sessions."
“For him we try to help and are doing extra training sessions to get the same level as the team."
“We try to do extra fitness work because it’s not easy when you have less training sessions than the others but you have to combine it with other training sessions as well because in six or seven days between a game it’s not possible training like in pre-season."
“We had different strategies in the past and we carry on to help him and the other players to get the best peak of form.”
Another man who impressed was Tadanari Lee - making his first start of since January.
The Japanese striker was unlucky to not find himself on the scoresheet, but an impressive showing will have done wonders for his confidence.
Lee was one of 11 changes to the squad from Saturday's win over Liverpool, with Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez the only remaining starters.
"He played very well," assistant Perez said.
"We were talking on the bench about his performance, especially in the first half."
"He was very dynamic, he played not only as a forward but also tried to help team link up and build between the lines."
"I am really, really happy with his performance. It is good news."
Southampton will now be awaiting confirmation of who they will play in the next round of the cup, meanwhile, Ramirez and Lee will have their minds focussed on working their way into Mauricio Pochettino's first-team plans.
Do the two deserve a place in the side?... Let us know your thoughts below.
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