Premier League strugglers Southampton are reportedly set to hire former Bundesliga coach Hasenhuttl as Mark Hughes’ successor at St Mary’s.
Southampton look set to swing from an experienced, old school Premier League gaffer to a man who has never played or coached in England throughout his footballing career.
The seemingly imminent appointment of Ralph Hasenhuttl is an undoubted risk, but the Saints have succeeded before when thinking outside the box. Mauricio Pochettino was hardly a household name when he replaced Nigel Adkins on the South Coast almost six years ago after all.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Southampton legend Francis Benali has admitted that he is intrigued about the prospect of the 51-year-old Austrian taking over at a club with just one Premier League win in 14 games to their name.
“It’s an interesting one, it is going against that tried and tested route the club took with Mark Hughes,” said Benali, who represented the Saints from 1988 to 2004.
“I am casting my mind to when Pochettino came in, many people knew little about him and we saw the success he was able to bring and what he has gone on to become as a manager as well.
“It is interesting he has had success with Leipzig in the Bundesliga as well and it’s an interesting appointment.”
Hasenhuttl, who Sky claims has agreed a two-and-a-half year deal, arrives with an impressive track record from his time in the German Bundesliga.
Hasenhuttl took the unfancied FC Ingolstadt into the top flight and established them in mid-table before guiding RB Leipzig to the runners-up spot in their first ever Bundesliga season.
The Guardian reports that Southampton have been keeping an eye on the one-time Bayern Munich player since 2014 and are impressed by his high-octane attacking football and penchant for bringing through young players.