Southampton have struggled with their selection of managers over the past few years, they appear to have a potentially great one now, but, that could easily change with one successful season.
Since Ronald Koeman left St Mary’s in 2016 the club have failed in their pursuit to suitably replace him. The players did not like Claude Puel, the fans would jeer and shout at him, and under Mauricio Pellegrino and Mark Hughes, the club was embroiled in a fight to remain in the Premier League. Hughes left the club in 18th position when he was fired, and Pellegrino left when they were 17th.
Ralph Hasenhuttl arrived on the south-coast and led the Saints to eight victories and steered them away from the trapdoor. However, his appointment, approach and talent have led people to compare him with Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine only lasted 18 months before he was made Tottenham manager. Hasenhuttl even managed to get deliver a 2-1 win over Spurs in March.
Hasenhuttl arrived in December but did not add to his squad during the winter transfer window, but has already been active this summer bringing in Moussa Djenepo from Standard Liege. Saints’ manager enjoyed a great spell while in Germany, the Austrian guided Ingolstadt to their first ever promotion to the top division, and finished 11th the following year. Then as manager of RB Leipzig, he guided the club to second place in the Bundesliga. If he could replicate anything close to that in his first full season in England, then chairman from around the league may be on alert.
One destination Hasenhuttl could arrive at is Stamford Bridge. Now Maurizio Sarri has been confirmed at Juventus, Chelsea is on the hunt for yet, another manager. The hotly-tipped Frank Lampard is wanted by many of the Blues fans but he has only had one year as manager at Derby and could be a disaster at his old club.
Chelsea has lost their best player after selling Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, and are currently under a two-transfer-window ban. With no players being allowed to sign it could prove a difficult task for the most experienced of managers. When Chelsea appointed Sarri last summer they proved the manager no longer has to have won a trophy before he could get the job at Stamford Bridge.
Doubts remain over Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Arsenal boss Unai Emery. United endured a terrible season, finishing sixth and missing out on Champions League for next season, and have since been rocked by the news Paul Pogba possibly wants a move this summer according to the Guardian. Emery’s Gunners side only finished one point behind rivals Tottenham for the final Champions League spot, but their dreadful performance in the Europa League final showed how far away they are. However, it is still difficult to imagine either club appointing Hasenhuttl if either one fails and needs replacing.
In my opinion, if Hasenhuttl gets it right this season, Southampton should expect a phone call.