Florin Gardos looks set to make his first appearance in a Saints shirt tonight as Ronald Koeman’s side head to Millwall in the Capital One Cup.
The centre-half, who joined this summer in a £6m deal from Steaua Bucharest, has recovered from a hamstring injury and is ready to play.
Gardos, below, was an unused substitute during Saturday’s 0-0 draw with West Brom, but Koeman says the Romanian international is likely to receive his debut this evening at The Den.
“That’s a possibility that he will start, yes,” said the Saints manager.
Fellow new arrival Saphir Taider, the on-loan Inter Milan midfielder, could also be handed a first competitive appearance for the club against Ian Holloway’s Championship Lions.
The 22-year-old has not featured in either of Saints’ opening two Premier League matches, as he gets himself up to speed, but tonight’s second-round tie seems like an obvious opportunity to give him a run out.
Koeman has been keeping plans for his team selection close to his chest and, while there will be changes from the team that started against Albion at the weekend, the Dutchman insists the League Cup is a competition that he is taking seriously.
“Yes, of course, we take every match in the League Cup, the FA Cup, even friendlies (seriously), because we are Southampton and we have to prepare ourselves in a good way, and we will do that on Tuesday.
“We look to win every match and we will prepare ourselves in the best way possible.”
Gaston Ramirez was due to return to training yesterday, after being absent from the first two matches of the season with a groin injury, although tonight’s fixture is likely to come too soon for him.
Koeman may use the match to offer an opportunity to some of his younger players, such as Lloyd Isgrove, Harrison Reed and Matt Targett.