Ralph Hasenhüttl could hand summer signing Ibrahima Diallo a first Southampton start when he takes his team to Fulham on Boxing Day, and he is confident the midfielder is ready for the opportunity if it comes his way.
Diallo joined in the summer from Stade Brest, but has had to wait for his opportunity, beyond a handful of substitute appearances, due to the impressive form of both Oriol Romeu and James Ward-Prowse in his position.
However, with Romeu suspended for the Fulham game due to picking up his fifth booking of the season last week, Hasenhüttl has indicated Diallo is likely to feature and believes he is ready to contribute.
"I see him every week working hard for the team and with the team, and the fact we are successful is also based on the teams in the second line, because we have definitely high quality in every session, and this is up to the players who haven't played so far," he said.
"This means Ibra, Sali and all the others, like Jack Stephens, they are training hard, so now he gets the chance maybe to play. We have also with Will Smallbone maybe an option for a number six.
"Everybody who gets the chance must show that he is immediately able to bring us what we demand and the behaviours we need for winning games and I am absolutely convinced that he can do this."