Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has said the club’s defensive record is ‘something we have to change’ after praising new signing Romain Perraud.
The 23-year-old French full-back is the first new face Saints have brought in during the summer transfer window, and he joins from Stade Brest for an undisclosed fee.
Brest was in a relegation battle last season, and Perraud was pivotal to their survival. Despite playing in a struggling side, Perraud registered three goals and seven assists to earn himself a deserved place in the Ligue 1 Team of the Season.
'A hard worker'
“I’m very pleased,” Hasenhuttl told BBC Radio Solent. “Getting him here, he is a character that’s perfect to our club, to our team.
“A hard worker, offensively with some good habits, quick player, left foot and right foot.
“Defensively is a guy who likes to defend on the front foot. A little bit similar to Kyle (Walker-Peters) on the right side.
“He had a fantastic season in France last year and decided to come to us and after Ryan Bertrand has left, we knew we needed a very good replacement.”
Playmaker down the left
To a large extent, much of Perraud’s success will be down to the form of Danny Ings and Che Adams, who will look to profit from the Frenchman’s crosses. The full back is famed for his deliveries and assists, and looks set to make the left-back position his own after Bertrand’s departure.
Saints’ defensive record was horrific by their own admission last season, only keeping nine clean sheets in their 38 Premier League matches – and conceding 68 goals, of which only relegated West Brom let in more.
On top of that, eight of those shut-outs had come by January 4, when Southampton sat sixth in the Premier League table having just beaten Liverpool without conceding to record a third consecutive clean sheet.
And after securing just one more for the remainder of the campaign, it has made clear what Hasenhuttl wants to do.
'We have to change'
When asked about Saints' defence, the Austrian added: “Absolutely no question. This is definitely something we have to change because it automatically leads us to a better position.
“That is why we were up the table, so we need to change it and make sure it’s all year, change the behaviour.”
Southampton travel to Wales next week to take on Swansea City and Cardiff City in pre-season friendlies as preparation for the new season continues.