Hasenhuttl ‘identified problem’ Sport Republic didn’t fix

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl identified the club’s need for a new striker during the summer transfer window but the board failed to rectify the issue, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The club’s owners, Sport Republic, handed the Austrian boss more than £60 million to bolster his squad this summer but did not make an essential signing at St Mary’s.

Who did Southampton sign in the summer?

It was a summer of change on the south coast for Hasenhuttl and the club, with 10 new players signed while the experienced figures of Nathan Redmond, Oriol Romeu, Fraser Forster and Shane Long went out the exit door.

There was clearly one eye on the future heading into the window, with the new recruits boasting an average age of just 21.4 years.

Among them were exciting attackers Sekou Mara and Samuel Edozie, while the back-line was also bolstered by the arrival of Armel Bella-Kotchap, Juan Larios and goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.

Despite Mara’s arrival, Hasenhuttl continued to insist another striker was needed to add more competition for the likes of Che Adams and Adam Armstrong.

What has Jones said on the situation?

Jones understands that Hasenhuttl had identified the need for a new striker in the summer and knew that their current struggles in front of goal were coming.

But he adds that Sport Republic did not rectify the issue despite there being warning signs before the transfer window shut last month.

Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “To be honest, Hasenhuttl even identified that issue himself. He knew that this problem was coming and the club didn’t rectify it. When you look back, in hindsight, there were some warning signs.”

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How big an impact has the failure had on their season?

Southampton have had a sluggish start to the campaign and sit just one point above the relegation zone after nine matches.

The Saints have won two of their clashes so far this term and scored only eight goals, suggesting a serious lack of spark in the final third.

It is a run of form that has seen Hasenhuttl’s job come under threat at St Mary’s. But, given the events of the summer, it only seems fair that the likes of Sport Republic shoulder their share of the responsibility too.

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