Ralph Hassenhuttl must now begin the process of clearing the deadwood in the Southampton squad following years of over-spending.
The Saints have spent vast sums of money on mediocre talent in recent windows, meaning Hassenhuttl inherited one of the largest squads in the Premier League. The Austrian manager will be forced to sell to buy now the January transfer window is officially open in order to strengthen his squad. Bringing reinforcements to St. Marys could be crucial to ensuring they avoid the drop this season.
After struggling to impress since his £14m move from Lazio in the summer of 2017, Wesley Hoedt’s time at the club looks to be coming to an end. The Dutchman has reportedly (according to the Sun via HITC) been transfer listed after Hassenhuttl deemed him surplus to requirements.
The former RB Leipzig boss should reinvest the funds from his sale to land Alaves defender – Guillermo Maripan. Valued at just £2.7m by Transfermarkt, the 24-year-old has been one of the most consistent performers in La Liga this season, helping his side an impressive fourth-place in the standings thus far. The Chile international has made 12 appearances so far and his excellent showings should make Southampton scouts take notice.
Maripan is a terrific defender who would add some much-needed stability to the leaky Saints back four. The Chilean loves to get stuck in, averaging 2.2 tackles per game this season and reads the game expertly – allowing him to make 2.1 interceptions on average. Maripan is also a dominant force in the air, winning 3.4 aerial duels per game, meaning he should have no issues adapting to the physicality of the Premier League (WhoScored).
The defender is only getting better and could finally be the replacement for Virgil van Dijk at St. Marys.
Southampton fans, thoughts?
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