£9m Southampton star 'hasn't been hitting the same heights'

Southampton winger Mohamed Elyounoussi has not been at the top of his game recently, according to journalist Tom Barclay.

The 39-cap international has featured regularly at St Mary’s this term but has struggled to consistently make a meaningful impact lately.

What are Elyounoussi’s statistics this season?

Elyounoussi has played 24 games for the Saints in 2021/22, and has chipped in with eight goals. His highlight of the season came back in August when he netted a hat-trick against Newport County in the Carabao Cup.

From that moment on, Ralph Hasenhuttl has put a lot of faith in the 27-year-old, naming him in his starting XI on a regular basis.

However, despite playing week after week, Elyounoussi has only scored twice in the league since the turn of the year.

One of those goals came in Southampton’s latest outing against Watford, but it was not enough to prevent his side from losing 2-1 to the Hornets as Hasenhuttl’s men slipped to their third straight top-flight defeat.

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What has Barclay said about Elyounoussi?

Elyounoussi may have got on the scoresheet against Watford, but Barclay has questioned his overall form during Southampton’s recent losing run.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final clash against Manchester City, Barclay has hinted that the £9m-rated wide man will need to step up to the plate if Southampton are to get a positive result.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “Elyounoussi, perhaps, hasn’t quite been hitting the same heights of late.”

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Will Elyounoussi start against Man City?

Heading into Sunday’s match at St Mary’s, Southampton will know that they are unlikely to have much of the ball against Pep Guardiola’s side.

If they are going to win, they will need to produce a very disciplined display in front of their home fans, much like the one they delivered back in January when they earned a 1-1 draw in the Premier League.

However, it can’t all be about defending as they will need to pose a threat on the counter-attack, and must make the most of the chances that they create.

Only Armando Broja has found the net more often for Southampton than Elyounoussi this season, so having the Norway international on the pitch could be the right call for Hasenhuttl to make, despite his patchy performances recently.

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