Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has been assessing what young Ibrahima Diallo brings to the table in the absence of regular midfield general James Ward-Prowse, with the captain currently serving a three-game suspension.
The void in midfield will almost certainly be filled by the 22-year-old Frenchman, who will be eager to make his mark and compete for a fixed-term position as Southampton's no.6.
Having signed for Saints a year ago this week, Diallo has featured in five Premier League ties so far this term, but never from the start, and must now "grab the chance with both hands" to convince the coaching staff he's worthy of a starting berth more regularly, Ralph explained.
"It was always tough for him, with Ori and Prowsey, if they are fit they are quite settled in the first eleven. For him it was hard to step in. But I must say, he's showed in a lot of games how much quality he has."
Ibrahima Diallo starts and scores in a Carabao Cup fixture against Sheffield United (September 2021)
"He has to be in some moments a little bit more clinical, a little bit more serious. Then his dual up front can be a better one. Some things to improve still for his game, but I think the total package is a good one.
"Especially his physical qualities, I'm absolutely convinced that he's a Premier League player on a good level and now he has the chance to show it. Hopefully he does.
"He's had a few chances to play, in the cup he scored and did a good job. So he's definitely a player that can show more, and he must grab the chance for the next three games with both hands."