As Tottenham prepare to face Southampton, in what is going to be an exciting clash after Christmas, former Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino did speak about one of his former players. The Argentine was given his Premier League break with Southampton and the former Espanyol man did a great job at the club before taking up the top role at Tottenham.
While a number of players made a breakthrough at Southampton, Jay Rodriguez was also expected to achieve great things but injuries have cost the Englishman a lot. The likes of Adam Lallana, Calum Chambers, Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren have all moved to bigger clubs, relatively but Rodriguez is making his return from a long-term injury.
The Englishman even broke into the national team under Pochettino’s watch and the manager was happy that Rodriguez is getting back to his best. The current Southampton star recently scored a brace against Bournemouth and the Argentine was quoted by Sky Sports as saying:
“I was very happy. I sent him a text.
“I was happy to see him on the pitch again. He suffered a very bad injury and I remember, fresh in my mind, that day at Manchester City.
“He’s a top player, a top man and we were happy to see him score against Bournemouth.”
The Argentine manager even stated that many similar players were linked with a move to Tottenham, though he stopped short of saying that Rodriguez was a player that could have joined Spurs.
“There were a lot of players linked with Tottenham at that moment.”
Rodriguez’s knee injury certainly has affected his playing time and career. As stated, he was expected to be one of the Southampton players to join another club but he didn’t play any games in the 2014-15 season and only notched up 16 appearances in the league last season.
Fortunately for the 27-year-old, he still has a few years left at the top level and you never know he could do a Rickie Lambert and join a big club in a few years. Rodriguez certainly could have added a bit of brilliance to any attack in the top half of the Premier League had he stayed fit but for now it will be another story of what could have been.
Pochettino will hope that Rodriguez does not come into form when the London club faces Southampton and the Argentine will expect his side to continue their chase for a top-four finish this season.