Former Manchester United and Liverpool striker Michael Owen has been singing the praises of Southampton manager Ronald Koeman in his Betvictor.com column.
The Dutchman was appointed the Saints boss in the summer following the departure of Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham Hotspur.
Koeman has done a remarkable job so far at the Saints, making them genuine challengers for a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.
In the summer of 2014, Southampton sold some major players of last season, including Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana.
Not many expected the Saints to do so well without them this campaign, and Owen is very impressed with what Koeman has done with the team.
“I see the Saints are 2/1 at BetVictor for a top four finish and subsequent Champions League spot next term; that would be a remarkable achievement after the sale of Lambert, Shaw, Lallana and Lovren last summer,” the 35-year-old wrote on Betvictor.com. “Ronald Koeman has done a quite magnificent job at St Mary’s.”
While Southampton lost some important players in the summer, they also made signings who have proved to be influential for the team.
Dusan Tadic, Graziano Pelle and Fraser Forster have all played their part, while January loan signing Eljero Elia has done well so far.
Koeman picked out the players he needed to replace those had departed carefully, and that is now paying dividends.
Manager of the season?
Koeman should be one of the top contenders for the ‘Manager of the Season’ award in the Premier League.
Not only has the 51-year-old taken the team to a higher level from last season, but he has also given the players more belief and confidence.
Even if Southampton miss out on the top, this season should be termed a success for them.