Southampton manager latest: Risky Saints call confirmed as two factors help candidate secure maiden gig

Southampton manager Ruben Selles

Southampton have settled on who’ll become their next permanent manager and Fabrizio Romano confirmed two factors that helped swing the vacancy an inexperienced candidate’s way.

The Saints were hunting their third permanent manager of the season. Ralph Hasenhuttl was relieved of his duties on November 7 and quickly replaced by former Luton Town boss, Nathan Jones.

However, the Welshman’s reign proved both disastrous and short-lived. Jones oversaw seven defeats in eight in the Premier League – a run of form that saw the Saints drop to dead last in the table.

A surprise swoop for ex-Leeds Utd boss Jesse Marsch came into focus. However, despite rampant speculation, talks between the club and manager broke down due to a disagreement over the proposed length of contract on offer.

That led to 39-year-old Ruben Selles taking interim charge for the second time this season. The Spaniard presided over a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday in the EFL Cup after Hasenhuttl’s dismissal, with the Saints going on to win the tie 6-5 on penalties.

Selles took caretaker charge a second time last Saturday after Jones’ exit. Southampton upset the odds when travelling to Stamford Bridge and securing a vital 1-0 victory.

Per the latest from Fabrizio Romano, that single result appears to have made a major impression on Southampton’s board.

That’s because Selles has now succeeded Jones and become Southampton’s new permanent manager.

The news was subsequently confirmed by the Saints’ official website, with Selles’ deal running until the end of the season.

Why did Southampton choose Selles?

Shedding light on why Selles has been chosen, Romano stated Selles ‘convinced the club with his ideas and work’.

Clearly, the ideas and philosophy he’s pitched have been warmly received and the early work he’s conducted with the players on the training field has borne fruit.

Selles will therefore be in the dugout once again for this weekend’s crunch clash with Leeds Utd (Saturday, 3pm kick-off). However, he’ll now be in the role as permanent manager, not interim.

The Southampton gig will represent Selles’ first as a club’s permanent manager.

He’s previously been an assistant at numerous clubs including Shinnik Yaroslavl, Aris, Neftchi Baku, Qarabag, Aarhus GF, Copenhagen and Southampton.

He also managed Valencia at Under-18 level, and Southampton’s board will hope his inexperience in the main hotseat won’t be detrimental to their survival cause.

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