DESPITE admitting Saints may still sign a seasoned Premier League player or two this window, Ralph Hasenhuttl insisted: “You don’t need to buy experience, you can create experience.”
The Austrian boss has sanctioned six additions to his first-team squad ahead of the start of the league campaign today, with Joe Aribo the most senior at 26-years-old.
Four of the group are 20 or younger, with 18-year-old Romeo Lavia the youngest likely to make a Premier League debut during the visit to Tottenham Hotspur.
In an interview with the club website, Hasenhuttl said: “That doesn't mean we only want to have young players, we have also in our mind maybe to get in one or another experienced ones too, but we will see.”
However, the boss, in his pre-Spurs press conference, also revealed his intentions to continue growing the young players and added they will soon be labelled the experienced ones themselves.
“Normally the longer you are in the club, the older the players are getting, so the more experience you get,” Hasenhuttl said, ahead of his fourth full season as manager of the St Mary’s side.
“Meanwhile I play some players here for four years and I can say they played a lot of games and now they are the experienced ones, when I was coming here they were the talented ones,” he joked.
Among those in Hasenhuttl’s 2018-19 squad and still remaining at the club include Alex McCarthy, Jack Stephens, Moi Elyounoussi, Oriol Romeu, James Ward-Prowse, Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Redmond, Jan Bednarek and Yan Valery.
“So we just see it was quick, you don’t need to buy experience – you can create experience. In the end, yeah we have good players. I think a good mixture of some players that have definitely seen a lot in the Premier League.
“They know about quality, they know about what is going on there. Those that don't know it, they need to learn it and to feel it and to make the experience to go there and to show up.”
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Dark green and black kit with an RAF inspired yellow, white, red and blue panel on the ribs and in stripes on socks.
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In the club interview, he continued: “It doesn't mean I don't want to work with experienced players, the opposite is true, because it's also interesting when you get players with high quality who have proven themselves to be top class.”
Hasenhuttl is also nurturing three coaches new to the Premier League, Ruben Selles, Alex Clapham and Carl Martin – although Martin shadowed the Austrian for a year in 2020-21 to learn his methods.
The dynamic has already seen Martin take his seat up in the upper reaches of the Itchen, alongside the analysts, while Selles has been seen passing messages through Richard Kitzbichler to Hasenhuttl.
“This is a group that is not new coaches. I mean Ruben for example was achieving everywhere around the world,” Hasenhuttl said, of his new staff.
“So you have a lot of experience in coaching and for me it was important that we get quality also there.
“With Carl from the club, who knows our philosophy who knows our principles, is also a good adaptation to the team and now they are working hard and this is good.”
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