Southampton latest news: Ralph Hasenhuttl 'hasn't had backing he might have wanted'

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Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl hasn’t had the financial backing of the owners that he might have wanted, according to journalist Tom Barclay.

The ‘Austrian Jurgen Klopp’ has enjoyed a relatively successful stint on the south coast since arriving back in December 2018, guiding the Saints to an 11th-placed finish in his first full season at the helm.

Has Hasenhuttl overachieved?

Hasenhuttl’s charges even sat pretty at the top of the Premier League table for a brief period during 2020/21, but they’ve failed to kick on since.

Two 9-0 thrashings at the hands of Leicester City and Manchester United have marred his tenure, while their final placing of 15th last term indicates a drop-off in performance levels.

However, with Southampton seemingly beginning to plateau under the 54-year-old tactician, it’s debatable how much blame lies at his door.

The experienced trio of Danny Ings, Jannik Vestergaard and Ryan Bertrand all departed St. Mary’s over the summer, and their replacements have so far failed to live up to expectations.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

Adam Armstrong – Southampton’s most expensive arrival since 2019 – has only found the back of the net on two occasions this season, highlighting their troubles in the transfer market.

And Barclay believes Hasenhuttl would have preferred further funds to strengthen his first-team squad, despite being complimentary of the owners in his press conferences.

What has Barclay said about Southampton?

Asked whether this is the first season that Hasenhuttl can be judged properly, The Sun reporter claimed it was fair to make assessments from the previous campaign.

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He told GiveMeSport: “I think that was last season as well. And the crucial point you made there was that he hasn’t had the backing of the owner that he might have wanted.

“Although Ralph’s been very complimentary in his press conferences, not so much of the owner, not that he was saying anything bad about him, but about how happy he was with the summer business.”

How much has Hasenhuttl had to spend?

While the likes of Leicester, Everton and Aston Villa have spent significant funds in an attempt to escape midtable obscurity in order to chase European football, Southampton have certainly adopted a more cautious approach.

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A recent report by F365 revealed the Saints have spent the 16th-lowest total on transfers out of all the current top-flight clubs over the last five years.

Only Norwich City, Brentford, Burnley and Watford have spent less than their £37.8 million outlay since 2017/18, illustrating Hasenhuttl’s struggles in the market.

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