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Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl calls for ‘smart’ approach to summer squad build


Ralph Hasenhuttl knows Southampton must get smart in the transfer window this summer to avoid a repeat of the past two months next season.

The Saints were flying high during the first half of the campaign but suffered a dramatic drop-off in the league from mid-January that at times looked like it might drag them into the relegation battle.

That’s no longer a concern but Hasenhuttl knows squad depth is the key to consistency and he wants to address that as soon as he can.

He said: “It helps massively if you are consistently taking points and we have shown this also this season for a very long time.

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Ralph Hasenhuttl will be looking for targets around the £10million mark this summer

“It was no coincidence we were up in the table until January and then we gained some experience that is also important for our development.

“The experience was that this squad, especially the players in the second line, they haven’t been good enough to keep us on this level and then we are missing a few and maybe having a few issues with injuries.

“This we have to change in the summer.

“I know therefore we need a lot of money but we have to be smart, we have to be really finding the transfer packages that are perfect for us and we can handle with the limits we have as a club.

Danny Ings’s future will be a major topic this summer but Hasenhuttl is adamant Southampton don’t have to lose any big names

“The good thing is we don’t have to sell players, or our best players, we will maybe sell others, those who are interesting for lower league teams.

“And then the targets we have, and the players we want to sign, are very seldom players in the £20million or £30m region.

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“We are looking for players around £10million, or lower if possible.

“There are some good value players around that and these we have to find.

“Because of Brexit, some other markets have been opened now more than when we were part of the EU, so this is definitely changing a little bit.

“The problem is that you have to also focus with your scouting on these markets, especially South America, for example, and we haven’t so far.

“But, also, it is in general not easy to bring a player to the Premier League.

“On the one side, everybody thinks we have this huge money because we are a Premier League club, and so you pay more for players than other teams around the world.

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“And on the other side, when you want to make a cheap transfer, then he’s not good enough, because you don’t get a work permit.

“This is an issue you cannot solve easily.

“What is important for us is not about selling a lot of players but selling the right ones.

“It will help us massively, especially on the full-back positions we know that we have some issues in this season with injuries, then we were struggling.”





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