Premier League preview: Can Hasenhuttl replicate Leipzig success at Southampton?

The arrival of Ralph Hasenhuttl from RB Leipzig has reinvigorated Southampton as it finished five points above the relegation zone. However, the job of repairing a squad, which was once full of exciting young talents, remains.

Southampton finished 16th in the Premier League last season.   -  Getty Images

There is no excitement around St. Mary’s Stadium which was palpable three seasons ago when Southampton secured a third top-10 finish in a row. After falling down to 17th in the 2017-18 season, the Saints were facing relegation with nine points from 16 games last season.

The arrival of Ralph Hasenhuttl from German club RB Leipzig has reinvigorated the team as it finished five points above the drop zone. However, the job of repairing a squad, which was once full of exciting young talents, remains.

Ever since Sadio Mane departed for Liverpool, Southampton’s strike force has scored a combined total of nine goals in the past two seasons.

The club brought in Brimingham City’s Che Adams and Moussa Djenepo from Standard Liege for a combined cost of £30 million to plug the loopholes upfront, but how Hasenhuttl will shore up a porous backline in his first full season in England remains to be seen.

Academy talents Callum Slattery could be given a longer leash in the midfield, while teenage defenders Will Smallbone and Jake Vokins will provide Ryan Bertrand competition at left-back.

A trip to Burnley for the opening match followed by matches against Liverpool and Manchester United is a good way to measure Southampton's summer transfer activity.

Player to look out for

Che Adams: For an ailing squad which is in a serious need for firepower, Che Adams' arrival from Brimingham gives Saints' fans to be excited for the new season.

The 22-year-old had a sensational season in the English second tier scoring 22 goals in 46 appearances and was named in the Championship Team of the Season for the 2018-19 season.

Apart from scoring 34% of the Birmingham's total goals last season, Adams is a creative force in the final third averaging 1.5 key passes per game. It will be interesting to see how the youngster will lead the line alongside fellow new recruits Danny Ings and Moussa Djenepo.
 

Southampton's transfer activity

IN: Danny Ings (£20m, Liverpool), Moussa Djenepo (£15m, Standard Liege), Che Adams (£15m, Birmingham).
OUT: Steven Davis (free, Rangers), Matt Targett (£14m, Aston Villa), Sam Gallagher (£5m, Blackburn), Jordy Clasie (free, AZ Alkmaar), Alfie Jones (loan, Gillingham), Jack Rose (loan, Walsall), Jonathan Afolabi, Jamie Bradley-Green, Jake Flannigan, Siph Mdlalose, Ben Rowthorn (all released).

 

Premier League fixtures

August

Aug 10 Burnley (Away)

Aug 17 Liverpool (Home)

Aug 24 Brighton and Hove Albion (Away)

Aug 31 Manchester United (Home)

September

Sept 14 Sheffield United (Away)

Sept 21 A.F.C. Bournemouth (Home)

Sept 28 Tottenham Hotspur (Away)

October

Oct 5 Chelsea (Home)

Oct 19 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Away)

Oct 26 Leicester City (Home)

November

Nov 2 Manchester City (Away)

Nov 9 Everton (Home)

Nov 23 Arsenal (Away)

Nov 30 Watford (Home)

December

Dec 4 Norwich City (Home)

Dec 7 Newcastle United (Away)

Dec 14 West Ham United (Home)

Dec 21 Aston Villa (Away)

Dec 26 Chelsea (Away)

Dec 28 Crystal Palace (Home)

January

Jan 1 Tottenham Hotspur (Home)

Jan 11 Leicester City (Away)

Jan 18 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Home)

Jan 22 Crystal Palace (Away)

February

Feb 1 Liverpool (Away)

Feb 8 Burnley (Home)

Feb 22 Aston Villa (Home)

Feb 29 West Ham United (Away)

March

Mar 7 Newcastle United (Home)

Mar 14 Norwich City (Away)

Mar 21 Arsenal (Home)

April

Apr 4 Watford (Away)

Apr 11 Manchester City (Home)

Apr 18 Everton (Away)

Apr 25 Manchester United (Away)

May

May 2 Brighton and Hove Albion (Home)

May 9 A.F.C. Bournemouth (Away)

May 17 Sheffield United (Home)

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