Southampton have confirmed the appointment of former RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl as their new manager on a two and a half year deal.
The 51-year-old, who has been out of work since leaving Leipzig in the summer, replaces Mark Hughes, who was dismissed from his post on Monday morning after guiding the Saints to just one win from their opening 14 Premier League games.
A statement from Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger said: “The urgency to find a path back to our potential and to the results that we expect cannot be underestimated. For that reason, we are extremely pleased that Ralph Hasenhüttl has agreed to become our new manager and do all he can to help guide us back on that path.
“This manager change offers us a fresh start and, very quickly, Ralph emerged as our ideal candidate. As a coach, he embodies the passion, structure, communication skill set, work ethic and appetite for growth that we strive for in our Southampton Way. The quick, smooth and seamless negotiation process underlines the character of the person that he is.
“We have been aware of Ralph since his days at FC Ingolstadt, where he showed the qualities that we believe we need at the club. He has since gone on to develop those attributes with a track-record of success in the Bundesliga and with a progressive and ambitious club in RB Leipzig.
“As soon as we met, Ralph’s enthusiasm for football was contagious and his hunger to take on a new and challenging job in the Premier League was evident. In our discussions, he very quickly aligned himself with the values and the vision of the club.
“Southampton Football Club’s past success was built on a clear identity. The foundation of this identity was a focus on developing players, whether from within our academy or after joining from other clubs. Ralph’s ability to teach the game and to develop talent is evident in his past and is a centrepiece of why he is the perfect choice to be the new Saints manager.”
The appointment of Hasenhuttl marks his first forage into management outside of Germany, with the Austrian having previously managed SpVgg Unterhaching and VfR Aalen before more notable stints with Ingolstadt and Leipzig.
He arrives at Southampton with a growing managerial reputation in Europe, having guided Leipzig to Bundesliga promotion in his first season in charge. He followed up that accomplishment by guiding The Red Bulls to a sensational second place finish, qualifying for the Champions League in the process.
He faces an entirely different prospect at St Mary's though, with the Saints having endured an abysmal start to the season. They currently find themselves in the relegation zone, and with games against Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea coming up in the next month, Hasenhuttl will need to hit the ground running in order to turn things around.