By his own remarkable standard Dimi Payet may have been off the pace over the last couple of games.
He had little impact at Liverpool and was again struggling to make his usual enormous presence felt against Aston Villa on Tuesday evening.
However, I expect him to shine tonight and a return to his best form will I believe clinch our first ever win at at St Mary’s.
Payet has been incredible of course. He has demonstrated that great players need no time to settle into a new country – an excuse beloved by some managers trying to explain a new signing’s lack of performance.
Payet is very very special but he is also human and has been going since pre-season, suffered a big injury and like any player in the world will have a form dip here and there. Goes with the territory .
But he’s due a performance and Saints is the type of game where he can shine. They are a team that likes to go forward and are likely to leave him space which he can exploit.
Let’s remember too that he is now becoming a player most oppositions see as important to stop after his magnificent season and all the attendant publicity.
He has also been without his partner in arms Manu Lanzini and once he and Diafra Sakho is back watch the sparks fly for of course it’s the striker who creates the pressure that provides the spaces into which the two creative forced enter and thrive.
He remains a player who can change the game at a stroke even when he’s not at his best because his set pieces are a massive threat anyway and should AC be involved at some stage today the pair could cause mayhem between them.
There have bee a few murmurings on social media about Dimi’s lack of impact but thankfully nothing of any real consequence.
Today, as said, Southampton themselves may well provide the necessary space in which he can operate but when the two other main men are back it is going to be a fun end to the season for certain.