Mark Hughes is considering handing Jan Bednarek his Premier League debut as Saints host Chelsea tomorrow.

The 22-year-old Polish international has been limited to just two cup appearances since joining the club for £5m last summer.

But with Jack Stephens suspended for three games after his red card in the defeat at Arsenal, Hughes is weighing up throwing Bednarek into the mix to allow him to stick with a back five.

“He is a confident young man in himself. He has got a good stature, he is a good size and has a good technical ability,” said Hughes, who admitted that he would like to get some form of consistency in terms of formation and style.

“He is a full international, he is a young man but he has played at the top level.

“What I like about him is that he communicates really well, he is always talking in defensive positions and that is always a good trait.

“He has impressed me, but clearly I have to be comfortable in my mind that that’s the way to go. We might look at different things but he is a good young player.

“Clearly, he hasn’t been exposed to the Premier League which is one caveat against him but from what I’ve seen in training and his attitude around the place, he looks a good young player.”

Hughes’ other options would most likely involve either playing a back four, or moving somebody out of position to play as a third centre half, a job which Ryan Bertrand has done for the club in the past.

Fielding Bednarek would certainly seem like a big call, but Hughes insisted he wouldn’t be afraid to do it if he felt it was right.

“You are never quite sure,” he confessed. “It doesn’t matter whether you are inexperienced or experienced.

“Different players react in different ways sometimes and its never a given that they will react in the right way or whether they can deal with the Premier League which tests senior players to a certain extent.

“You are never quite sure, but sometimes you’ve got to do it. I’ve played younger players before and sometimes it has worked and sometimes it hasn’t. I think sometimes you have to trust the players that you pick.”