Southampton transfer news: Ralph Hasenhuttl made big decisions on £40m pair this summer

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl with his hands on his hips

Journalist Tom Barclay has revealed that Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl gave the club the green light to sell Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard this summer.

What happened with Ings and Vestergaard in the recent transfer window?

Ings and Vestergaard both entered the last year of their contracts at St Mary’s in the summer, meaning that Southampton risked losing the pair for free in 2022.

Ings reportedly rejected the offer of an extension in July, and subsequently joined Aston Villa for £25m the following month. Meanwhile, Vestergaard completed his transfer to Leicester for £15m in mid-August just days after Wesley Fofana suffered a horrific leg break in pre-season. 

This meant that Southampton were able to recoup £40m by moving the duo on.



What did Barclay say about Hasenhuttl’s part in the two transfers?

Barclay has admitted that Hasenhuttl wanted Ings to stay at the club, but once he realised that the striker was not going to commit his long-term future to Southampton, he knew that he had to be sold. He also confirmed that it was a similar situation with Vestergaard.

Speaking about how the two transfers played out, Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: “These are Ralph decisions. I know he didn’t want to lose Ings, he wanted him to sign a new contract but he understands that he was free next season, so had to go. Same with Vestergaard.”

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Did Hasenhuttl make the right decisions?

That remains to be seen.

Ings was exceptional during his three-year stay on the South Coast, netting 46 goals in 100 appearances. It will be difficult to replace someone of that quality, but at least Southampton have tried by bringing in Adam Armstrong from Blackburn Rovers. The 24-year-old got off to a positive start by scoring on his debut against Everton in August.

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However, it seems the decision to let Vestergaard go may prove more costly. Southampton signed Lyanco to fill the void left behind by the Dane, but he was not even a guaranteed starter at relegation-threatened Torino last term in Serie A, so adding him to the squad does not appear to be a particularly inspired move.

Furthermore, Jack Stephens suffered a knee injury last weekend against Manchester City, and is expected to be out for 10-12 weeks, leaving Southampton looking short on options at centre-back.

They have shown some promising signs defensively in the early weeks of the campaign, keeping clean sheets against West Ham and City recently, but they may struggle to maintain this solidity now that Vestergaard is gone and Stephens is injured, which could see them pulled into a relegation scrap in the coming months. 

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