Ralph Hasenhuttl has been appointed as the successor to Mark Hughes as Southampton manager, the Premier League club have announced.
Hughes, who was appointed in March, was dismissed on Monday despite Saints claiming a 2-2 draw with Manchester United at the weekend.
Hasenhuttl replaces him having impressed in his last managerial job in Germany with RB Leipzig, as he led them to second place in the Bundesliga in his first season in charge, and the club’s debut campaign in the top flight.
The Austrian departed in May having guided Leipzig to another respectable final position of sixth, and he arrives at Southampton – where he has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract – with a strong reputation.
Hasenhuttl’s Leipzig placed particular emphasis on the importance of blooding young players, a characteristic which has also been prominent at Saints in recent years.
That philosophy has played a major role in securing his move to England, according to Saints chairman Ralph Krueger, who is adamant Hasenhuttl will be a fine fit for the club.
“The urgency to find a path back to our potential and to the results that we expect cannot be underestimated,” he said in a statement to the club’s official website.
“For that reason, we are extremely pleased that Ralph Hasenhuttl 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.”