Ralph Hasenhuttl has been explaining Southampton’s philosophy in the transfer market and insisted that he remains ‘comfortable’ with the way things work at the club.
Saints have championed a strategy over the past years that entails recruiting younger, lesser-heard of players from across Europe before refining them and turning a significant profit.
However, this model appeared to shift in recent transfer windows, and as such, the club faced battles to remain in the Premier League.
Hasenhuttl is now at the helm and has been discussing how Southampton’s philosophy is carried out. He was keen to stay realistic and spoke to TV2 about the club’s aspirations for the future. The manager said:
We know our philosophy. It’s developing players who can move on to bigger clubs after a couple of years.
That’s the way we are, and we’re comfortable with that. We cannot have the same goals as Liverpool and Manchester City. But we can have our goals, and last year we beat some of the big clubs. It means a lot. We learn a lot from it. Either we win – or we learn.
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Hasenhuttl’s comments will probably anger a section of the club’s fan-base; he is clearly aware of the limitations that have been set at St Mary’s Stadium under the current ownership and has not been tasked with achieving unrealistic feats in his first Premier League campaign.
However, it is positive to see that we have a manager who continues to be transparent despite the evident restrictions of a tight transfer budget, and there is now a clear emphasis on returning to the ethos of nurturing young players, which had previously gone awry under the likes of Mauricio Pellegrino and Mark Hughes.
Saints fans may want more money spent, and in an ideal world, we would be in a position to finance deals for players who could propel us to competing for the top seven again.
But Hasenhuttl is seemingly content with the way things are, and the focus on re-establishing an identity and a culture that benefits younger players at Southampton should not be frowned upon, for me.