Arsène Wenger has had his say about compatriot and managerial counterpart Claude Puel, whom his side will face once again this evening.

This game will be the 55-year-old’s 50th competitive match in charge of Southampton since being appointed at the end of June last year. Despite the fact that his current win percentage (38.8%) is the worst in comparison to all his previous sides, he has reached an EFL Cup final and the Saints are on track to record their fourth consecutive finish in the top-half this season.

Considering the level of significant change this past summer, Puel has been praised for his efforts and helped maintain consistency within a side that looked destined to struggle at one point or another in recent years based on the key departures every summer.

Nathan Redmond and Manolo Gabbiadini have asserted themselves as first-team regulars this term, after both Sadio Mané and Graziano Pellè left for pastures new in July last summer.

Oriol Romeu has really impressed defensively in Victor Wanyama’s absence, whilst Sofiane Boufal and Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg have shown promising signs since their moves to the south Coast.

Romeu (R) has impressed for Southampton this season, filling the void left by Wanyama’s departure to Spurs in perfect fashion with consistent displays on a regular basis. (Photo: Alex Livesey / Getty Images)

Wenger was Puel’s manager for seven years at Monaco and naturally, he knows him better than most. So when questioned by reporters about his compatriot, he didn’t hesitate to praise one of his former players.

I believe he has done well because they have taken initiative in every single game.

“They have been doing well against the big teams in the league and overall they got to the League Cup final.

“Southampton had a very convincing performance on the day. Overall he has done well.