Florin Gardos Set To Return And Give Claude Puel A Nudge
Wednesday, 9th Nov 2016 09:05
Florin Gardos hasn't kicked a ball in competitive first team action since February 2015, tonight he is set to play against Crawley Town and start to Show Claude Puel what he can do.
Since signing from Steau Bucharest for £6 million in the summer of 2013 Florin Gardos has become the forgotten man of St Mary's, when he arrived it was acknowledged that he would not be first choice in Ronald Koeman's team, but he would spend time getting fi enough for the Premier League and learning the ropes.
However despite several promising performances when called upon by Koeman, after being taken off by the Dutchman less than half an hour into a defeat at West Brom in February 2015, despite being on the bench for virtually every other game that season he did not get on the field again.
Indeed that would not only be his last appearance that season, but his last overall after suffering a knee injury that ruled him out for all of 2015/16.
In the summer he looked to be on his way back but again injury intervened and after over four months recovering he is now once again trying to kick start his St Mary's career.
He will still be back up to Jose Fonte and Virgil Van Dijk, but he knows the opportunities are there for him if he can show he can take them, Saints face a tough period in the next six weeks or so and there are long terms doubts over Yoshida's ability to be anything other than a stop gap, Puel will be looking for a defender who can truly put pressure on his two first choice central defenders and indeed prove they are able to replace them in the long term.
Whether Gardos is that man is still open to debate, at times under the six months he played under Ronald Koeman he showed that he had something, most of the games he played in resulted in victories for Saints, in his five starts in the Premier League he won three games drew one and lost only that final game.
In six Premier outings as a sub he took part in five victories and one draw including as an early sub for Toby Alderweireld in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.
In his six starts in the cups he saw three victories including a glorious night at the Emirates a draw and two defeats.
So his record for Saints when playing was probably as good as any other defender and in praise of him you don't win games against some of the teams that he played against without having something about you.
However there was something that Ronald Koeman saw that he didn't like and just as he seemed to have established himself as the reserve central defender ahead of Yoshida he found himself back down the pecking order.
Now he starts the comeback trail with an appearance against Crawley Town in the checkatrade trophy this evening hoping to show Claude Puel that he could be a good addition to his squad now he is fit to rejoin it.
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