Gaston Ramirez is determined to convince Ronald Koeman of his value to Southampton after making his first Premier League appearance for the club in over a year.
Ramirez signed from Bologna for a reported fee of £12million in 2012 but has struggled to adapt to life in England, and he spent an unsuccessful spell on loan with Hull City last season.
However, the 24-year-old set up Sadio Mane’s equaliser against Liverpool on Sunday to mark his first appearance in the top flight for Southampton since a 3-1 win away to West Ham United in August last year.
And Ramirez is now looking to force his way into manager Koeman’s plans, telling the club’s official website: “I felt happy to come on the pitch because I don’t remember the last time I played for Southampton in the league.
“It was a really good stadium and a big game. I’m working hard to get that chance, and the chance came.
“Everyone at the club knows what I’m doing. I’m very happy to stay here and work for Southampton and fight for my place.
“Of course it is a difficult season for me because I’m not playing too much, so I’m working hard to get any chance and then I will try to profit from that.
“He [Koeman] told me at the beginning of the season that it will be hard because sometimes he prefers another player.
“But in football you never know. You need sometimes one chance to change everything.
“Sometimes you have to make a decision on your future. My decision was to stay here, fight for a place and play for Southampton.
“I’m working very hard. I try to impress the manager to give me a chance and profit from that.
“I’m very happy here. Southampton gave a lot to me and my family, so I want to repay that on the pitch. The only thing I can do is work hard.”