Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, former Southampton midfielder Carlton Palmer believes Ralph Hasenhuttl is right to demand a bigger squad for next season in a clear message to owner Gao Jisheng to back his manager.
The Southampton boss is aiming for success at St. Mary’s but is adamant he needs more first-team players if the Saints are to evolve.
Hasenhuttl has had to contend with an array of injuries this term, including to 2019/20 top scorer Danny Ings, making it hardly a surprise that he would like his squad to be significantly reinforced in the summer.
And it is a sentiment shared by Palmer, who highlighted Southampton’s pressing style as one reason for why Hasenhuttl needs better depth. The retired Premier League footballer told FFC in an exclusive interview:
“You need it [a bigger squad], especially the way they play. They play a very offensive, closing down style, which if you don’t retain the ball well when you’ve got it, that’s hard work game after game after game. So, yeah, every manager will tell you he wants a big squad, every manager would like to have two players for every position – so two first teams in effect.”
As well as losing Ings, Hasenhuttl has also had to cope without the likes of Theo Walcott, Michael Obafemi and Oriol Romeu, with all three players currently out injured. The latter, for a matter of fact, is out for the rest of the season after picking up a serious foot injury.
Evidently, Hasenhuttl has had a bad time with injuries this term, so any plea to the Southampton board for signings this summer would be understandable.