Ralph Hasenhuttl says he expects more first-team players to leave Southampton on loan before the European transfer window shuts. The Austrian tactician said when he was appointed that he would be looking to trim down the squad and give the club’s academy products a chance – and so far he has been as good as his word.
Yann Valvery and Michael Obafemi have featured regularly under Hasenhuttl, allowing him to move on some more established players.
Saints have allowed eight players to leave either on loan or permanently since the end of last season with only four arriving during the summer transfer window.
One of those four was Danny Ings making his loan stay permanent, while it looks like Sofiane Boufal will be afforded another chance at St Mary’s after spending last season out on loan.
Given he feels he has enough strength in depth to cope with the first half of the season, Hasenhuttl is looking to move on Mario Lemina and Guido Carrillo before the transfer window on the continent shuts.
Lemina has made it clear that he wants to be allowed to leave and was heavily linked with a deadline day move to Wolves before they pulled the plug.
Since then, the Gabon midfielder has been touted as a potential target for Spanish side Celta Vigo and Monaco, and appears almost certain to move on having been told to train away from the rest of the first-team squad since the start of pre-season.
Lemina could be joined in Spain by Carrillo amid reports he could return to Leganes on loan.
The Argentinian has found life tough since moving to Southampton in January 2018, managing just seven appearances, and he spent last season with Leganes.
Boca Juniors are also keen on the striker, who no longer has a spot in Southampton’s changing room at their Staplewood training base.
Hasenhuttl suggests they may not be the only players to leave before the month is out with Fraser Forster, Wesley Hoedt and Cedric Soares also seemingly having no role in Hasenhuttl’s squad.
When asked about players leaving Southampton, he told the Daily Echo: “Most of them may be on loan but I think the best thing for the players and us would be something permanent because that helps both sides more.”
The former RB Leipzig head coach went on to quash the suggestion that the likes of Lemina or Carrillo could earn a recall.
He added: “In the moment I want to be more focused on the players I work with and not the players having other futures in their minds.”