Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl will welcome Sofiane Boufal back from his loan spell at Celta Vigo as he is keen to assess him ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, according to Spanish news outlet El Desmarque.
The Moroccan winger was sent out to the La Liga club this season following a bust-up with Mark Hughes towards the end of last term.
Boufal failed to develop consistency for Celta during his stint at the club as they unexpectedly fought for their top-flight status down at the bottom of the table, but he did impress with some moments of magic.
The former Lille star’s displays have not ‘displeased’ the Spanish club, El Desmarque reports, but as a consequence of Southampton’s asking price set at €15 million, a permanent move appears unlikely.
Hasenhuttl has not yet had the chance to work with Boufal, and before deciding on his future, it seems the winger will be closely monitored in pre-season.
Boufal has scored four goals for Southampton following his £16 million transfer to the club in 2016.
Why Boufal could yet have a future at Southampton
Hasenhuttl is an outstanding coach. If he is unable to extract quality from Boufal regularly, it is tough to see who could.
Lack of depth
Boufal could benefit from Southampton’s lack of depth on the flanks. This may present him with sufficient opportunities to make up for his previous lack of discipline.
For as problematic as Boufal has proven to be, he is an undeniably gifted footballer. He is arguably the most talented player on Southampton’s books.
Lack of funds
Southampton will not have copious amounts to spend this summer. They could look to keep Boufal and refrain from spending on another winger.