One recurring theme of Southampton’s up-and-down 2020/21 season is the team’s squad depth or lack of.
Saints found themselves top of the Premier League in November, before a spate of injuries to key players saw the club slide down the standings and even flirt with getting sucked into a relegation battle.
This highlighted the need to bolster Southampton’s squad of players as the team will always be teetering between good form with its finely balanced first team and poor form with just one injury to a key player (see Kyle Walker-Peters).
Hasenhuttl has recognised this and is determined to strengthen Southampton’s options on the pitch in the summer transfer window - something that he says will be possible without relying on selling his top stars.
“The good thing is we don’t have to sell players, or not our best players,” said Hasenhuttl. [H/T Daily Echo] “We will maybe sell others, those who are interesting for lower league teams or other teams. And then the targets we have, and the players we want to sign are very seldom players in the £20million or £30m register, this is what we don’t need for us as a club.
“We are looking for players around the £10m, or even lower if possible. There are some good value valuable players around that. And this we have to find and this we have to pick.
“I think what is important for us is not about selling a lot of players, but selling the right ones.”
Hasenhuttl pointed to signings on the cheaper side, such as Ibrahima Diallo and Mohammed Salisu, as proof that you can bring in players without breaking the bank.
The Austrian said Saints must be clever in the transfer market, harkening to the days where Saints were successful in signing talents such as Dusan Tadic, Virgil van Dijk and others in the mid-2010s.
The Southampton manager said that his side’s current second string player have not proved that they’re ready for the step up to the Premier League yet and fleshing out his squad with players that have the ability to compete in England’s top flight is vital.
“This squad, especially the players in the second line, they haven’t been good enough to keep us on this (high) level when 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 or signings that are perfect for us and we can handle with our limits we have as a club.
“But we have to do it because otherwise you can be sure that a season is so long with so many games, you cannot go through such a long season without injuries, so you need to also have a good second line who you trust and you can keep the level high.”