Jamal Musiala and Luke Shaw among former Saints players in action at World Cup
From an assist to a crucial goal, there have been some key moments for several former Southampton players at the World Cup so far.
There has been no involvement as yet for current Southampton players at the World Cup in Qatar, with Armel Bella-Kotchap an unused substitute for Germany against Japan, while Mohammed Salisu could be in action tomorrow when Ghana face Portugal.
But while there have not been any members of Nathan Jones' Saints squad in action as yet at the World Cup, there have been several former Southampton players who have featured at the tournament so far.
READ MORE: Maya Yoshida point made after what former Southampton star did for Japan vs Germany
That includes Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk , England full-back Luke Shaw , Wales talisman Gareth Bale and Moroccan international Sofiane Boufal , who came up against another former Saint in centre-back Dejan Lovren in a 0-0 draw with Croatia.
Shaw was the first former Southampton player to feature at the tournament, with the Manchester United left-back starting for Gareth Southgate's Three Lions against Iran on Monday as England ran out 6-2 winners in their opening Group B fixture. Shaw was rarely troubled defensively, but he got forward well from full-back and provided the assist for Jude Bellingham's opening goal.
Van Dijk was the next former Saint to take to the field at the tournament, with the Liverpool centre-back captaining the Netherlands against Senegal as Louis van Gaal's side won 2-0, with Southampton summer transfer target Cody Gakpo netting the first goal of the game.
On Monday evening, Southampton academy graduate Bale then became the first former Saint to score at the tournament, with the Welshman stepping up to score an equaliser from the penalty spot as Rob Page's side came from a goal down to earn a point against USA.
On Tuesday, former Southampton captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg played for Denmark in a 0-0 draw with Tunisia, with the Tottenham midfielder playing the full 90 minutes, while Jan Bednarek , who is on loan at Aston Villa from Southampton, was an unused substitute as Poland drew 0-0 with Mexico.
Meanwhile, there were two former Saints players in action against each other on Wednesday morning, with Boufal lining up for Morocco against Croatia, who had Lovren in their starting line-up. Boufal played 65 minutes of the Group D contest before being substituted, while Lovren played the full game.
Then, there was interest for Southampton in past and present players as Germany faced Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium. Current Saints centre-back Armel Bella-Kotchap was among the substitutes for the match for Germany, who had former Saints academy player Jamal Musiala in their side, while former Southampton defender Maya Yoshida captained Japan for the fixture and ex-loanee Takumi Minamino came off the bench.
Musiala, who now plays for Bayern Munich and has been linked with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, impressed for Germany, with the 19-year-old coming close to scoring what would have been the goal of the tournament so far, only to miss the target after a solo run past several Japan players.
Yoshida played the full game for Japan and got Southampton fans talking as the Asian side came from a goal down to win 2-1, with Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano on target after Ilkay Gundogan's penalty had put Germany in front.
There are several other Southampton players past and present who could be involved over the coming days, with current Saints defender Mohammed Salisu in contention to feature for Ghana against Portugal tomorrow (Thursday).
Meanwhile, former Saints stars Toby Alderweireld (Belgium), Dusan Tadic (Serbia) and Martin Caceres (Uruguay) could also feature for their countries during the course of the tournament.
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