Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl insists he has no issue with selecting either Cedric Soares or Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, despite both of their contract situations being up in the air at present.
Right-back Cedric has already admitted that he will most likely depart Saints at the end of the season, when his contract ends, while Hojbjerg – whose current deal ends in 2021 – is also yet to sign a new contract with the Hampshire club, leaving uncertainty surrounding his future at St Mary’s.
It has the potential to be a distraction for the individual players and the club, but Hasenhuttl is not concerned over selecting them.
“They are professionals and I think they both know we only have to discuss something if we stay in the league and if not it’s not about a discussion for a new contract,” said the Austrian, speaking to the Daily Echo.
“The first thing we have to do is to make it clear we stay in the league and to do that we must win games.
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“I don’t need more on the weekend to have the chance to get three points. If I have this I don’t care about extending contracts or something like this. It’s about winning.”
Southampton face a big game tomorrow when they welcome Everton to St Mary’s. The south coast club are yet to win on home soil this time out but could draw level on points with the Toffees if they win. A defeat, however, would see them slip six points behind Marco Silva’s men and place them in further danger.
Despite it looking a certainty that Cedric will move on at the end of the campaign, it is clear that the Saints are a much weaker side without him in the team.
The Portugal international has missed the last six games – five of which they have lost (per Transfermarkt) – making his reintroduction into the side this weekend a huge positive for the hosts.
Hasenhuttl has got his focus spot on though – nothing else matters as long as the Saints beat their visitors this weekend.
Southampton fans, do you think your side are stronger with Cedric in the team? Let us know by commenting below!
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