Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has shown that he isn’t afraid to place his faith in the club’s youngsters following his appointment at the start of the month, and midfielder Alexandre Jankewitz could be the next to make his debut.
For a while now under previous managers the Southampton academy players largely seemed to be ignored – albeit Mark Hughes did hand opportunities to Yan Valery and Michael Obafemi towards the end of his reign – but there has already been a different attitude shown since Hasenhuttl arrived at St Mary’s.
Whereas the bloated first-team squad usually included senior players like Steven Davis and James Ward-Prowse in the squad, now the Austrian manager has turned things on their head and as well as starting Valery in all three matches he has been in charge to date, he also included Tyreke Johnson and Kayne Ramsay on the substitutes’ bench against Arsenal and Huddersfield Town respectively.
Johnson made his debut in the dying minutes against the Gunners, while another teenager in Michael Obafemi was preferred over Shane Long and Charlie Austin to replace Danny Ings at the John Smith’s Stadium last weekend, and netted his first Premier League goal as a result.
Well, the Switzerland U18 international signed for the south coast outfit in the summer and has already impressed for his club’s U18s, while he has even been included on the substitutes’ bench of the U23s.
Hasenhuttl has already shown his faith in the youth by allowing them to train with the first team, and Jankewitz is one of those that has been spotted in the training ground gallery of photos.
The central midfielder celebrated his 17th birthday on Christmas Day which means he can now sign professional terms, and while Saints have the likes of Mario Lemina, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oriol Romeu in the middle of the park, with the futures of Davis and Ward-Prowse surely in doubt because of their lack of minutes Jankewitz could be the next to be handed his Southampton debut.
Check out the video below for Emma Conybeare’s rundown of which clubs need what in the January transfer window…