A new era at Southampton Football Club is underway, with Ralph Hasenhuttl at the helm.
The 51-year-old became the first ever Austrian to take charge of a Premier League club on Wednesday, as his appointment at St Mary’s Stadium was confirmed.
Southampton took action at this early stage of the season following their treacherous start to the new campaign. Mark Hughes was given his marching orders on Monday and within two days, a new man arrived.
Hasenhuttl has taken only one training session since his arrival but has already endeared himself to the Saints faithful following his reputation for stylish football and his well-spoken manner in his first press conference on Thursday afternoon.
It goes without saying that several players in the Southampton squad must step up if the club are to avoid the drop down to the Championship this season.
Some members of the team appear to be better suited to the new manager’s typically intense, aggressive and physically-demanding style.
So, take a look at a selection of players who could thrive under Hasenhuttl!
Hojbjerg is enjoying a good season as it is, but Hasenhuttl’s arrival could be of great benefit to him stylistically.
The Danish international is an aggressive player who plays with relentless tenacity and drive. He aims to play vertical passes forward and intelligently reads the game.
These two tendencies work well with the new manager’s style, as he demands fast breakaways from his side and intense, instant pressing after possession is lost.
Ings has been struggling with a hamstring problem of late and Southampton have certainly felt his absence.
The striker has been good for Saints this term but could be even better under Hasenhuttl. Following his experience of working under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, Ings will be no stranger to the concept of gegenpressing.
Saints’ top goalscorer is an intelligent, hard-working player who anticipates chances to run in behind. His knowledge of pressing triggers, organised pressing and positional awareness will undoubtedly come in handy.
Redmond could add goals to his game under the tutelage of Hasenhuttl.
He has been a dangerous player for Saints this season but has yet to score a goal, with his end product still somewhat lacking.
It is likely that Hasenhuttl will see managing Redmond as a challenge to be relished; a player who possesses the physical and technical qualities to succeed, but one whose potential has not yet been unlocked.
Redmond may take more risks under the new boss and his energy will undoubtedly suit the counter-attacking, direct style.
Lemina is often ponderous on the ball but with improvements to his spatial awareness, he could become a crucial player under Hasenhuttl.
The Austrian favours players with pace and physical quality – the Saints midfielder has these traits in abundance.
Gabon international Lemina has flourished this term. However, with the licence to drive the ball forward from deep, play on the front-foot and aggressively work with his teammates in pressing situations, he could develop a new level of consistency
Elyounoussi has really struggled since his £16 million move from FC Basel in the summer.
The Norwegian international has been in and out of the team and when handed the chance to shine, he has failed to deliver.
However, Hasenhuttl’s style could be a match for the winger. The manager likes to utilise natural wide players and is keen for his sides to contain willing ball carriers.
Elyounoussi has not convinced in the final third this term but his work ethic has not come into question. He could be a useful tool in gegenpressing situations and could rediscover his finishing touch with the backing of an adept man-manager.
There’s a player in there somewhere. It’s up to the new boss to now extract the quality and help Elyounoussi find his feet in England.
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