Tino Livramento has enjoyed a seriously impressive first season of professional football. It's been so impressive that it's easy to forget that fact; that this is his first season of professional football.

Beginning the campaign on fire following his move from Chelsea, Livramento started all of Saints' first 19 Premier League matches as he took hold of the right-back spot in Ralph Hasenhuttl's team.

READ MORE: Saintsplus has launched - a letter from new Saintsplus reporter Benjy Nurick

It seemed as if a meniscus injury suffered in late-December might curtail his promising debut campaign but after deciding surgery was not necessary, he returned to action after five games.

Since then he's started six of Saints' eight league matches, but recently he hasn't quite looked the same energetic and dominanct force on the right side that he had in the early weeks of the season.

It's something that was highlighted in dramatic fashion on Saturday as Saints were thumped by Chelsea.

The disastrous performance was certainly not solely Livramento's fault but the 19-year old appeared tired and worn down as Chelsea rampantly picked apart their academy graduate and his fellow defenders.

Daily Echo: Livramento challenges for the ball in Saturday's defeat. Image by: PALivramento challenges for the ball in Saturday's defeat. Image by: PA

Usually, one of the main outlets for Saints in possession along with fellow full-back Kyle Walker-Peters, Livramento struggled with the ball managing 24 passes and 39 touches, sixth-most amongst his Saints teammates while his 75% passing accuracy ranked ninth of Saints players who played more than half an hour.

Defensively, he was never really given a chance in all fairness as Chelsea ruthlessly destroyed the entire Saints backline.

But whether it was based on tactics imparted on him by Hasenhuttl, tiredness or just Livramento’s natural wandering, he spent too much of his time aggresively out of position.

Just take a look at the passage of play below from the second half at St Mary's…

Fraser Forster hits the ball long from a backpass and Rudiger takes it down to start yet another Chelsea attack. But check out where Livramento is when the Chelsea centre-back gets the ball - the only Saints player higher up the pitch is Che Adams.

Daily Echo:

Rudiger plays it to Mateo Kovacic and the retreating Livramento really has no chance of catching him.

Daily Echo:

Kovacic eventually releases the ball in the direction of Christian Pulisic who has acres of space as the Saints defence converges around the ball but the pass is too heavy for the American to take in his stride.

Daily Echo:

Here’s another example of Livramento getting caught high up the pitch in the build-up to Chelsea’s fifth goal just after the half-time break.

With Thiago Silva on the ball, Livramento is positioned high and inside while Marcos Alonso is standing in huge amount of open space on the Saints’ right flank.

Daily Echo:

Chelsea eventually work the ball to the Spaniard via Mason Mount and from that point, Livramento is completely taken out of the game before Alonso finds N’golo Kante streaking through the middle. Forster saves the initial chipped attempt but Werner arrives unmarked to tap home the rebound.

Daily Echo:

The above examples came after Saints switched to a three centre-back system which may have given Livramento more license to roam. But here's an example of Livramento wandering away from his post while in a back four.

Just past the quarter-hour mark of the first half, Kai Havertz picks the ball up and starts dribbling towards the middle of the pitch with Livramento following behind the Chelsea forward...

Daily Echo:

With Bednarek and Salisu setting the defensive line, there is now a massive gap on the right side of Saints' defence, a gap that Alonso immediately spots and starts running towards even as Havertz has the ball facing the other way.

The German passes to the feet of Mount who plays a quick pass over the top into the space Livramento has vacated. Alonso runs on to it and eventually feeds Werner whose shot is saved by Forster.

Daily Echo:

Hasenhuttl clearly wants his players to press and press often and in this instance, Livramento was done no favours by Stuart Armstrong's late recovery run.

But still, it's a third example amongts many of the full-back being drawn out of position and yielding a huge amount of space behind him for the opposition to exploit. Chelsea did so with ease.

Even when he was in position, Livramento struggled to stop the Chelsea swarms coming at him.

Below is chart which displays the duels (defined as: a challenge between two players to gain control of the ball, progress with the ball or change its direction) from each area of the pitch on Saturday.

On the left of Saints' defensive half, Chelsea won 17 of the 28 duels as they frequently stormed through challenges and repeatedly won the ball back high up the pitch.Daily Echo:

Tino Livramento is a good player - with the potential to be a VERY good player. That much is obvious from what he's already shown in a Saints shirt. But it's also possible he's hit a wall at the end of a long season - his first season.

It's not as if Saints don't have other options. With Romain Perraud available on the bench and Walker-Peters capable of playing on both flanks, it may be time to give Livramento a break - he looks as if he needs it.

After all, what's the point of having depth if you don't use it?

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support in reading the Daily Echo.

Subscribing to the Echo means you have unrestricted access to the latest news, features and Saints coverage - all with an advertising-light website.

You will also have full access to Saintsplus, your new home for Southampton FC tactical analysis, features and much, much more.

Don't take my word for it - subscribe here to see for yourself.

Follow the latest breaking news in the Southampton area by joining our Facebook group - Southampton News - Breaking News and Incidents

Follow the latest court and crime news on our dedicated Facebook group - Hampshire Court and Crime News