Southampton take on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in the FA Cup on Saturday and Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl should consider axing Ryan Bertrand for the game.
The 31-year-old has disappointed with his performances this season, averaging a poor 6.42 WhoScored average match rating for his performances in the Premier League.
Other than in the 2-0 win against Sheffield United, his recent performances have been nothing short of terrible, with the former Chelsea man failing to earn a rating of over 6.6/10 in eight of his last nine Premier League appearances.
The experienced defender is yet to sign a new deal with the club amid reported interest from Arsenal, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season, which makes you question his commitment to Hasenhuttl’s side at the moment.
Who should start at left-back?
Bertrand has appeared in 27 of Southampton’s 29 top-flight fixtures so far this season, so he is firmly first choice left-back under Hasenhuttl despite his less than impressive form.
This is arguably due to a lack of natural back-up options to the Englishman, with Sam McQueen still sidelined through injury, whilst Jake Vokins was inexplicably sent on loan to Sunderland in the winter transfer window without a back-up being brought in.
However, Mohammed Salisu featured at left-back for Southampton’s 5-2 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month and, whilst he was run ragged by Riyad Mahrez, he can be a solid option in that position should Hasenhuttl decide to finally drop Bertrand against Bournemouth at the weekend.
Bertrand reportedly earns £70,000 per week at Southampton which seemed excessive for someone who has been one of Hasenhuttl’s poorest performers this season so far, which may make things difficult for both parties when it comes to negotiating a renewal.
Therefore, considering the 31-year-old might not even be with Southampton next season, Hasenhuttl should start preparing for life without him in his team, which means that Salisu or another Saints youngster should start at left-back for the game on Saturday.