For 62 minutes Southampton got a look at their Morgan Schneiderlin replacement. A hamstring strain forced Jordy Clasie from the pitch in the Saints’ first competitive match of the campaign, but now, some 12 outings later, he is ready to return.
Bought from Feyenoord to fill the hole left by the powerful Frenchman, Clasie is more guile than brawn in the centre of the park, but held a high enough reputation to excite the south-coast club’s fans when he chose to reunite with Ronald Koeman this summer.
An ankle injury picked up in an U21 outing for his new club prevented a quicker return, but having completed 60 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Ajax during the international break, Clasie can finally make his Premier League debut.
His return perfectly coincides with a three-game winning run in all competitions for the Saints, two of them in the league. It’s their best run of form this season, as the club have taken a little longer than last term to gel their new arrivals together.
Leicester are next up in the schedule, themselves enjoying life in the top-flight having lost just once, but Clasie’s poise on the ball could be the key to a home victory, currently available at 8/11.
Koeman’s men have the second-worst pass completion rate in the final third of the pitch, but can expect to see that improve with their Dutch star in the side.
With Feyenoord last season, the 24-year-old made the fifth-most successful passes in the division and registered five assists and 35 key passes – a mark better than all but four Southampton players that year.
Leicester are yet to keep a clean sheet this term and with Clasie around to pull the strings for the Saints, the wait for their first could well be prolonged for another week.
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