He might not be able to get a game for Saints, but Emmanuel Mayuka has been ranked as the 85th best player in world football.

In a poll of writers at The Guardian newspaper, the Zambian international finished ahead of the likes of Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder, Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez and, closer to home, Manchester City’s Samir Nasri and Chelsea’s John Terry.

The result will come as a surprise to many Saints fans, given that Mayuka has had little impact since his arrival from Swiss side BSC Young Boys in the summer.

The 22-year-old forward has made just six substitute appearances in the Premier League this season, with his only start coming in the 3-0 Capital One Cup defeat at Leeds.

Mayuka was, however, the winner of the Golden Boot award in January’s African Cup of Nations, scoring three times in the tournament as he shot to prominence.

Each of The Guardian’s 11 experts who took part were asked to rank their top 30 currently-active footballers in the world.

The number one choices were given 30 points, second place 29, all the way down to one point for the final person on each writer’s list. The points were than collated to create the final 100.

The first 30 players were announced yesterday, with the rest being unveiled by the newspaper over the coming days.