Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has heaped praise on Chelsea loanee Armando Broja ahead of the Saints’ clash with West Ham United on Boxing Day.
Broja is spending the season on loan at St. Mary’s and has exceeded expectations so far, netting four goals in just six Premier League starts, a tally no other player aged 20 or younger in the top-flight can match.
This is all the more remarkable considering that this is only the Albanian international’s second season of senior football following a loan spell at Dutch side Vitesse in the 2020/21 campaign.
With the striker making the leap up to Premier League football with such ease, Chelsea fans are excited about his prospects and there is hope that he can break into the Blues’ first team in the future and follow in the footsteps of fellow academy graduates Mason Mount, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
One person who has certainly been impressed with Broja is his current coach Hasenhuttl, who, in his pre-match press conference, recalled the striker’s contribution in the reverse fixture back in September.
He said: “I remember when he was coming on that he had a few good chances in this game.”
In what was only his second appearance for the Saints, Broja came off the bench for 16 minutes and came close to scoring twice, with one effort hitting the post and another getting cleared off the line.
It was a positive sign of things to come and Broja is currently Southampton’s top goalscorer in all competitions with six goals.
“He is good as a sub and he has also shown in the past that he can start,” continued Hasenhuttl.
“He’s got four goals after starting so good, good average to be honest. He grabbed a chance because of Che’s [Adams] injury. He was there and he did everything to help him get a chance again.
“This is what you have to do as a young player.”