Puel: Boufal out for a month

Southampton manager Claude Puel has revealed that Sofiane Boufal will not be available for selection for another month at least.

The record signing is still building up his match fitness as a result of the knee injury he sustained back in May.

Puel explained that the 22-year-old Morocco international, who the club snared for £16 million from Lille, was working very hard to get his fitness levels up to where they should be.

He said: "He works very well every day and now it's important he (puts in) good work, has a strong knee and when he comes back with us he can play with a good level and all the possibilities.

"I don't know (an exact time frame). I think one month more to have a good level.

"He's started to come on to the training ground with different exercise at the beginning.

"For the future when he comes back with the squad all the people can see Boufal in another way."

The closure of the transfer window also brought some much-needed stability to the club, with centre-back Jose Fonte and striker Jay Rodriguez both previously linked with moves away.

Puel added: "For all the trainers it's important now to know the window (is closed) because it is difficult for the staff and for the players.

"Jose is important, captain of the team with a good spirit and a professional player. It's important to keep him.

"Jay also. He scored his first goal in the last game and it was for him to enjoy his first goal in two years.

"Many players can be disturbed by different solicitations and it's important now to work with good concentration."

Up next for Southampton is a Premier League clash with Arsenal, and Puel is looking for a committed performance.

"The squad now is concentrated on doing good work against Arsenal. It's important," he concluded.

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