There might have only been one game of the Premier League season thus far, but Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is a man under pressure.
Following the 4-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur, which saw the Saints pick up where they left off in the second half of last season, several reports have surfaced about the Austrian’s position at the club.
According to the Daily Mail, the Southampton players are losing faith in the former RB Leipzig boss, and there is surprise among some in the squad that he wasn’t sacked this summer, following a shocking end to last season.
The Saints enjoyed a strong run of form in the middle of the season but lost nine of their last 12 Premier League matches, winning just once against Arsenal, which saw them briefly flirt with relegation.
Hasenhuttl has brought in a lot of young players so far this summer, particularly in the defence, and things did not start well for the Austrian at Spurs, as they were outclassed by Antonio Conte’s side in a shocking defensive display.
However, if the manager wanted to appease fans, then he might have thought harder about sending out one of the club’s brightest prospects in Nathan Tella.
The 23-year-old has joined Burnley on a season-long loan, in a move that may well disappoint supporters, when you consider that the likes of Theo Walcott, Nathan Redmond and Moussa Djenepo remain in the squad.
Those three wingers would contribute just three Premier League goals between them in 48 combined appearances, so it is disappointing that Hasenhuttl has decided to loan out a younger, more promising option.
The former Arsenal youngster has managed a respectable two goals and five assists in his first 41 appearances for the club, and supporters will have perhaps hoped that he could push on this season in the top flight.
He showed how dangerous he can be in Southampton’s attack in a 2-0 win against Sheffield United last year, which led Hasenhuttl to sing his praises.
He said: “He can be a threat against everybody because he is quick, even on the ball, he is calm.
“But what I like the most is his effort against the ball because he is always sprinting and he is immediately giving pressure.
“He had a good chance to score but I think his mentality is brilliant. He is never nervous, he is never arrogant and he has a good mixture of enjoying what he is doing and staying calm on the pitch.”
Therefore it is a shame that Tella has been sent out on loan, as he definitely could have played a part this season, and it could prove to be another blunder by the Austrian manager.