Les Reed hails Southampton appointment of Claude Puel, explains key reasoning behind it

Picture Supplied by Action Images

The Saints' Executive Director says Puel quickly emerged as the top candidate for the job.

Picture Supplied by Action ImagesNew Southampton manager Claude Puel

Former Nice manager Claude Puel was appointed by Southampton as the replacement for Ronald Koeman on Thursday, and the Saints' Executive Director Les Reed has outlined what made him such a stand-out candidate for the role, as quoted by the Daily Echo.

Puel has been named as the successor to Koeman, who left the club after two highly successful years to take charge at Everton earlier this month.

The 54-year-old Frenchman has never played or managed outside of his native country since beginning his professional playing career in the late 1970s.

However, he has coached in both the Champions League and the Europa League, leading Lyon to a first-ever semi-final in the former in 2010, and Reed revealed that experience and his general ability to improve clubs that he works at, was key to his appointment.

England manager Roy Hodgson and Southampton Executive Director of Football Les Reed in the stands

Southampton Executive Director of Football Les Reed (left) with former England manager Roy Hodgson


Reed said, as quoted by the Daily Echo: "As the process eliminated a number of excellent candidates, Claude clearly came out on top of a very impressive shortlist. We have not only got the best man, but the right coaching team to support him.

"Claude has a fantastic platform to work from and is aware that our ambition is to repeat and improve on our performances in the Premier League over the past three seasons.

"Claude has a track record of improving the situations he has been presented with and we are confident he can repeat this at Southampton. His Champions League and European experience will be valuable in our Europa League challenge this coming season and with the support of our excellent staff at the club I am sure he will do well."

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman

Former Southampton manager Ronald Koeman

Puel has big shoes to fill at Southampton in following Koeman, who improved upon Mauricio Pochettino's record to lead the club to a sixth-placed finish last term, their highest top division placing in 31 years.

However, he has an impressive record at each of the four French clubs he has managed in a 17-year coaching career, and led Nice to fourth in Ligue 1 last season.

He will get an immediate chance to utilise his European experience as Southampton get set to embark upon a Europa League campaign next season.

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Puel during his time in charge of Nice

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