The new Saints boss had his team playing a new style against Arsenal at the weekend.


Southampton’s 3-2 win over Arsenal on Sunday was notable not just for the result but for the new style of play that Ralph Hasenhuttl introduced.

The Saints pressed their more illustrious opponents high up the pitch, taking risks and looking a lot more aggressive than they ever did under Mark Hughes.

And if one player stood out from the game, it was Danny Ings, whose two goals helped Southampton on their way to victory.

Ings will clearly be a key influence for the side – rather astonishingly, his seven goals are already enough to have finished as the joint-top scorer for the club last season.

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But Ings is more than that: he’s a direct player with very high work rate and that could prove vital if Hasenhuttl pushes on with his high pressing style.

The Austrian and Southampton have lucked out a little with Ings, in fact, as his stats suggest he’s the ideal striker for the new boss.

If you compare the ex-Liverpool forward to arguably the three best mobile strikers outside of the top six – Callum Wilson, Jamie Vardy, and Marko Arnautovic – you see that Ings makes considerably more tackles and blocks more passes per game than the rest.

Ings has made 20 tackles in his eleven games this season, according to stats from Squawka, the exact same number as the other three have managed collectively in their combined 40 games.

The Southampton man has also blocked 12 passes in those games, 50% more than Vardy, the next highest, has managed.

While the stats and comparisons can only offer a rough idea, it certainly does seem as though Hasenhuttl has as well suited a striker as he could have hoped for at Southampton.

His goal record is far and away the best at the club but Ings brings so much more – and that will play a huge part in getting Southampton back on track.

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