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Russell Martin Sees Sekou Mara As A Long Term Option
Thursday, 2nd Nov 2023 13:58

Since arriving at St Mary's in the summer of 2022, Sekou Mara has shown glimpses of what he is capable of in the Premier League and in the Championship, however he has not yet done it on a consistent basis, but Russell Martin believes he will come good for Southampton.

hampshirelive have been reporting that Russell Martin has spoken to The Daily Echo of how he believes that although Sekou Mara is yet to truly set the football club alive, that although he was dropped from the squad to face Birmingham City, his manager has faith in him for the long term.

"He's a really young man and a great guy, I really like Sekou, how he gets himself into the team is by being the best version of himself he can be every day, and by being all-in with his football.

"He has trained really well recently and will be really disappointed with how he performed last Wednesday (Against Preston) because he was not the Sekou we see in training.

"However, it was not an easy game to come on in and when you have an opportunity, sometimes you're so desperate to do well. I think it comes from that rather than a lack of effort. His opportunities are limited so he wants to do well and when it becomes like that, it's difficult."

"He is a young player who hasn't had a lot of experience on the pitch yet but he is going to be great for us in the long term. He had a really good impact against Hull but didn't have the impact he would have wanted last week.

"We have been through his clips and he understands why. He's also competing against some good players but he is flexible tactically and physically. He will get another opportunity to get on the pitch and show what he can do because he has really great potential.

"The more he understands what we want from him, whatever position he plays, and the more he understands the demands on him, the better he will get."

My view is Southampton fans are yet to take to Sekou Mara, however having just turned 21 he is still young and is building his experience.

Last season he played in a squad that was falling apart around him and he played under 3 different managers in the Premier League he made 22 appearances, although they were mainly off the bench and he scored a goal and two assists, one of those assists a sublime through ball in the win against Chelsea.

He also notched a goal in the League cup against Manchester City and he showed fleeting glimpses of the player that he could well become, however it is also fair to say he has not yet found his form this season.

But that is not for lack of trying and he has helped the squad with his work rate and that was in evidence late on in the game at Hull when after the home side broke away, he chased the man back and forced the player to eventually run the ball out for a Saints throw.

Perhaps this was just as vital as Ryan Fraser's late late winner in securing all three points, sometimes it's not just the headline contributions such as goals that matter, but they don't get remembered when the game has finished.

The reason why Saints score so many late goals is because they have depth in the squad and although some Saints fans may disagree, Mara does have experience in both Ligue 1 in France & the Premier League and this is more than most of our opponents can call upon when bringing on substitutions.

He has been vital to the cause when closing out games and although he is yet to contribute this season in terms of goals and assists, there is still plenty of time to make his mark yet.

His problem is getting regular game time as he is competing with in form players such as Adam Armstrong, Sulemana, Charly Alcatraz, Sam Edozie and even Che Adams for one of the front three places, that isn't helping his opportunities to score or create assists, indeed in 8 Championship appearances he has only managed 179 minutes on the pitch, not quite 2 games worth in total.

I think if the supporters stay behind him and appreciate the effort he is putting in, there might just be a game or two where he truly makes a contribution that matters.

Photo: Action Images

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Centurion added 14:07 - Nov 2

Number_58 added 15:11 - Nov 2
Blimey, it's a shame Jack Stephens never got this much backing from Nick over the years.

SaintNick added 15:36 - Nov 2
Jack Stephens was playing in the Premier League, if James Bree played in the premier League I am not so sure he would be any better than Stephens at that level.

It's about players levels.

SouthSeaSaint added 19:00 - Nov 2
Not sure about Mara but he is young and he may be a player for the future.
In comparison Dom Ballard. albeit 3 years younger, has been touted by some as worth a run in the first team but he is not exactly pulling up trees at Reading.

WestSussexSaint added 19:19 - Nov 2
Problem is that being patient in football is something that is rarely shown. Either the club moves a player on because they are not making the desired contribution or the player themselves get frustrated at being down the pecking order and only getting a few minutes of game time. I have no doubt that there is a decent player in Mara but he hasn’t shown it with Saints in the limited chances he has had. The only question is who will crack first, club or player, and when. If we get promoted then he will be pushed even further down the list.

Mattsgrandad added 08:19 - Nov 3
Some strikers you can see from the off are predators like Shearer and Law but too many of the strikers being produced these days don't like to put it about, get in where it hurts and have a powder puff finish. The last two for Saints were SRL and Pelle. How many Charlton type finishers are there in the EPL, and he was playing with a heavier ball.

Bowlercow added 18:34 - Nov 3
Is sekou a candidate for a loan to another championship club?
If not he is probably going to ask for a move just to get game time

underweststand added 19:06 - Nov 3
agree with southsea saint (above).
Mara has scored a couple of spectacular goals, but (like Boufal) rarely seems to be " a team player " and doesn't get involved in build-ups or defensive duty when he's needed.
He may well be "one for the future" , but I'd prefer to see him getting regular playing time elsewhere - another club ,or league, rather than a few occasional sub. apps. off our bench.

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