Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has made no secret about hoping to shrink the squad slightly during the January transfer window given the numbers we carry and the fact he seems to naturally prefer promoting youth through when an opportunity arises and we’ve seen Steven Davis and Manolo Gabbiadini links, in particular, suggesting departures.
Speaking to Sky Sports this week as he faced questions about his plans for the current month, the gaffer explained that he was keeping a watching eye on potential incomings, even if outgoings were the priority.
“The fact is our squad at the moment is too big and we have to sell players and he is one other clubs are interested in. In the next few weeks or days it could happen. For my kind of football, for my philosophy, I need more speed, I need more running quality, and therefore we will need new players. What we do now is make the big squad get a little bit smaller and then we will have a look if we find someone who helps us to move our deficits away.”
“If we do something it must also be for the future, it doesn’t help us if we have a short term we are facing, we have to have a longer-term plan. It should be a player who is not too old but fits perfectly in our philosophy and then it can be possible that we do something.”
You really wouldn’t expect him to say anything less about being open to strengthening the group but given recent failures in the transfer market, it is refreshing to see that he’s only interested in such key aspects of a player – namely increasing our speed on the counter-attack but also ensuring that any new arrivals have already demonstrated they can fit how he wants us to play.
A clear vision and plan got Southampton to where we are and we’ve all seen what happens when the club has no plan, so this is a clear positive to me.