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Ralph Hasenhuttl doubts Southampton will find striker in January transfer window

Ralph Hasenhuttl doubts Southampton will find striker in January transfer window
Saints have managed only 11 goals in 13 Premier League outings

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has admitted he cannot afford to dip into the January transfer market to buy a 25-goal Premier League striker.

The Saints have scored in all but four of their 13 league games to date this season, but registered more than once on only two occasions with only struggling Norwich having managed fewer than their total of 11 goals.

However, the Austrian admits he will not have the funds to address that situation during the winter transfer window, when prices are notoriously high, and will instead work on the potential he already has within his squad.

Asked if he would be doing business, Hasenhuttl said: “No, for sure no because when you can guarantee me a striker that scores 24 goals or 25 goals in the Premier League, that costs around… I don’t know.

“I don’t think there are some goalscorers around available for us that guarantee us 24 or 25 goals in the Premier League.”

Asked if he simply could not afford that kind of player, he added: “Not really, I think. We are working on ours and bringing them to the level that they can help us. I think this is a better way.”

Hasenhuttl’s comments came as he prepared his team for Wednesday night’s home clash with Leicester on the back of successive defeats by Norwich and, on Saturday, Liverpool, where they lost 4-0 after a bruising first half.

The manager and his staff have since reviewed the performance at Anfield and, while there were issues to be addressed, Hasenhuttl felt there were positives too.

He said: “It was by far not as bad as we thought after the game, I must say. Also in the first half, we had our chances, definitely, to come back into the game, but we struggled to score there and against such a team, it’s not possible to come back when you’re not scoring.

“When you have no chance to come back, then you make it easy for them, and that was the issue in the end. In the second half, we defended better and took the pressure off ourselves and that was a little bit better, but overall not good enough to take something there.”

Defender Jack Stephens could return to the fold against the Foxes after more than two months out with a knee injury, while Moussa Djenepo has shaken off the knock which has sidelined him in recent weeks.