By Sam Stone

17th Nov, 2022 | 1:47pm

View: Baptism of fire for Gavin Bazunu at Southampton

Gavin Bazunu joined Southampton as one of the best young goalkeepers in the country after his sensational loan spell at the Saints’ bitter rivals, Portsmouth.

The 20-year-old was by far and away the best goalkeeper in League One and probably the Championship, and without him, there’s a good chance Portsmouth would’ve been competing down the bottom end of the third tier.

There was always an acceptance amongst the Fratton faithful that Bazunu was going to move onto pastures new at some point, but for him to go to St Mary’s was a bitter pill to swallow. Ultimately, the 20-year-old is eager to learn and develop, so the opportunity of first-team football in the Premier League was too big not to turn down.

It’s been a baptism of fire for Bazunu, who has conceded the second-highest number of goals in the top flight for the Saints.

Southampton’s poor form is clearly one of the reasons why he has conceded so many goals, nonetheless, there’s a telling stat to suggest Bazunu hasn’t been performing to the levels he was a Portsmouth.

According to Wyscout, the 20-year-old has the worst prevented goals in the entire league with -5.87, which indicates he is actually costing the Saints goals from time to time. To add some context, Jordan Pickford has the best goals prevented in the Premier League with 7.87 and has faced 12 more shots than Bazunu.

Clearly, the Republic of Ireland keeper is still adjusting to life in the top flight. It was always going to be tough for Bazunu heading into a team which is littered with younger players. He is still young and will learn from what is going wrong this season.

The youngster needs to have a big second half of the campaign to help steer Southampton away from the relegation zone.

In other Football Wonderkids news, Fabio Carvalho returns to Anfield over the break after he quits international duty via text