Ralph Hasenhuttl looks to have suffered a blow at Southampton, with young midfielder Alexandre Jankewitz having reportedly handed in a transfer request at the South Coast club.
According to The Athletic, the 19-year-old has become frustrated with a lack of first-team opportunities with the Saints and is keen to move away this month, with Eredivisie side FC Groningen interested in signing him.
The Swiss U21 international joined Southampton in 2018 and has been a regular with both the U18s and David Horseman’s B team during his time with the club, and made his first-team debut as a substitute in the recent 2-0 win against Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup.
In a recent article for The Athletic, Southampton reporter Dan Sheldon named Jankewitz as his young player to watch in 2021, so he is clearly held in high regard at the South Coast club, and it would undoubtedly be a blow if he were to leave this month.
Unfortunately for the teenage midfielder, he looks to have been a victim of Southampton’s success so far this season, as we have seen all of the Saints’ central-midfielders perform extremely well in the Premier League.
James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu formed an excellent partnership earlier in the season before Ibrahima Diallo stepped up brilliantly in the absence of the Spanish midfielder, so Jankewitz is perhaps unlikely to break into the first-team at this moment in time.
The report from The Athletic suggests that the 19-year-old no longer wants to be playing academy football and feels that he should be playing week in week out, which is always going to be a struggle under Hasenhuttl when you consider the strength of his current midfield options.
Perhaps if they can convince him to depart on a loan deal to aid his development then that would suit both parties but when you consider that Jankewitz was linked with a move to Barcelona during last summer’s transfer window, it would surely prove to be bad news for Southampton if he were to leave on a permanent deal and then fulfil his potential elsewhere.
They are left in a tough situation right now.