Hasenhuettl to prioritise youth, not transfer market next season

FILE PHOTO: Bundesliga - RB Leipzig vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Red Bull Arena, Leipzig, Germany - April 21, 2018 RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl before the match REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel

(Reuters) - Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl says he will comb through the club’s academy before turning to the transfer market for new signings ahead of next season.

Southampton’s academy has unearthed the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Adam Lallana and the club’s new skipper James Ward-Prowse in recent years and Hasenhuettl said the search for talent must start there.

“The first thing is you have to scan your own academy for what you have and what you miss,” Hasenhuettl, who signed a new four-year contract in June, told the Daily Echo.

“It’s never in any club that you have fantastic players in every position in the academy. If you have a problem in one position, then you must focus on that and not block anybody.

“... As a young player, you get chances but not endless chances. We try to build them up slowly, give them a few minutes and when you see that he still has both feet on the ground and keen to work, then we feel we can develop the player.”

Southampton, who are 12th, have won three of five games since the season’s restart and face Manchester United later on Monday.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford