Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has made countless moves in the transfer window since arriving at the club in December of 2018.
Not every transfer, incoming or outgoing, goes to plan, however, as teams look to shape their squad every summer and winter.
One move that Hasenhuttl did get spot-on was the decision to release Dutch midfielder Jordie Clasie in the summer of 2019.
Clasie arrived at Southampton from Feyenoord in 2015 and played 22 Premier League games under Ronald Koeman in his first season at the club. He averaged a solid WhoScored rating of 6.71, as he made an eye-catching 1.9 tackles and 2.5 interceptions per game in the middle of the park.
This was a promising debut campaign in English football and offered hope that he could go on to be a key player for the Saints in years to come. However, it did not work out that way as he then averaged a rating of 6.40 in 16 Premier League appearances the following season. His defensive numbers also went down, as he averaged 1.1 tackles and 0.9 interceptions per game, suggesting that he was a couple of yards slower in midfield than he was in his first year.
The second-season flop was then sent out on loan to Club Brugge and Feyenoord in back-to-back seasons before Hasenhuttl made a huge call on his future in the summer of 2019. He decided to allow the Dutchman to leave on a free transfer, instead of offering him a new deal, with the midfielder joining AZ Alkmaar, where he still is to this day.
At the time of his St. Mary’s exit, Clasie was valued at £4.95m by Transfermarkt. Now, at the age of 30 and two years down the line, he is valued at just £1.8m by the same metrics. This means that his value has plummeted 64% since he left the club, which proves that Hasenhuttl pulled off a masterstroke by allowing him to leave.
Had the Austrian offered him a contract to stay at the club and fight for his place, it could have been a colossal waste of wages. His value dipping whilst at Alkmaar suggests that his form has not improved since Southampton decided to let him go, which suggests that he would not have found his feet again if handed another chance in England.
Therefore, Hasenhuttl’s call to cut the cord was a genius move and he has been proven to have made the right decision. Hopefully, he will continue to make shrewd calls in the market throughout the rest of his time at Southampton.