Last Updated: 18/04/19 11:58am
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has said that young players are ‘welcome’ to use the club as a stepping stone in their careers, as he prepares for the summer transfer window.
Hasenhuttl has overseen a remarkable turnaround at St Mary’s since taking over from Mark Hughes in early December, guiding Southampton to the brink of Premier League safety.
The club have earned a reputation over the past decade for developing young players before selling them on to the Premier League’s top sides for considerable profit, a model that Hasenhuttl believes is beneficial for all involved.
“The package I always speak about must fit perfect to our club,” Hassenhuttl said on Thursday.
“So that means not the seventh or eighth contract in his life, he has to sign maybe the first, or second, or third maximum. That means that we are something like a developing club for him.
“Something where he can show up, where young players can develop. Something like diamonds we have to polish them and make them shine if they’re coming here.
“I think the last months showed we can develop young players here and we have a very good atmosphere and a very good club that is famous for developing players and if we are the next step in their development then he’s welcome, because he helps us with his quality.
“And if he becomes a very, very good player and goes somewhere else, then we have to accept this, but he helped us a lot and I think that’s the way we want to go. That’s the Southampton way and I can guarantee that we keep going along this track.”
Hasenhuttl has taken Southampton five points clear of the relegation zone with five games remaining despite not making any signings in January during his first transfer window at the club, but is expected to mould the squad more to his liking this summer.
That process has been complicated by the departure of chairman Ralph Krueger after the club last week revealed their decision not to extend his contract, which was accompanied by a promise of more details on a replacement or possible change to the leadership structure at the end of this season.
“There may be a few things that will change,” Hasenhuttl said.
“But the owners and the responsible guys in the club will find the right decisions in that moment and for us it’s important that we can take the decisions we have to take in the next weeks.
“That’s important that we can do this. It’s important that if the transfer period starts that we know exactly who has the responsibility for every part of this job.”