Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has explained the profile of player that the club are pursuing in the summer transfer window.
The Saints have already wrapped up their first signing ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, with Mali international Moussa Djenepo arriving from Standard Liege on Thursday.
Hasenhuttl had been looking to add pace to his attack and did so with the signing of the winger. However, it would appear as though he is just getting started with his summer dealings.
According to German news outlet Sport Bild, the Austrian wants to add up to five players to his squad ahead of his first full season at St Mary’s Stadium.
While Hasenhuttl appears intent on stamping his authority on the first-team group this summer, he will only seek to recruit additions who fit in with the ethos of the club.
The manager explained Southampton’s approach in the market, stating that players under 24 are the primary targets. He said:
We want players who fit our philosophy: lots of speed, high pressing, game intelligence.
It’s important that we get guys who can also defend ball-oriented.
None of them should be older than 24 years. I have had good experiences with that at [RB] Leipzig. I’ve learned to develop young players and see that you can succeed with them.
Five players who would improve Southampton ahead of next season
Castagne had an excellent season at Atalanta. He would be hard to lure away but would be a high-quality competitor for Yan Valery.
Hermoso has long been tipped for big things, but no club have taken the plunge. The versatile centre-back would be a clever signing.
Niakhate had a good season at Mainz. The French centre-back would improve Southampton’s options.
Phillips was impressive for Leeds United last term. He would suit Hasenhuttl’s 4-2-2-2 system well alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Adams has been on Southampton’s radar for some time now. The Birmingham City forward would provide a high-quality option up front.