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Who could Southampton appoint as their new manager?

Mauricio Pellegrino has become the ninth Premier League manager to lose his job this season after being sacked by Southampton last night.

The Argentine spent nine months with the South Coast club, having joined in the summer to replace Claude Puel, who also lasted just a single season, despite leading the club to an eighth place finish and an EFL Cup final.

An emergency meeting was called following Southampton’s 3-0 loss to Newcastle United on Saturday, and with the club just one point and one place above the relegation zone, the club decided to make a last ditch attempt to galvanise their squad.

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Pellegrino ended his tenure at St Marys with a 16.7 win percentage, which is particularly poor when compared to Puel’s 31.6%, Mauricio Pochettino’s 35.2% and Ronald Koeman’s 47.4% in recent years.

The Saints have won just five Premier League games, the second worst record in the league behind West Bromich Albion who sit rock bottom of the table.

With the club sat in a precarious position, the club hope to appoint a new manager before Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final tie against Wigan Athletic, although they have some time before their next Premier League game, against West Ham United on March 31st.

Here are some potential targets we think Southampton could look to replace Pellegrino:

Mark Hughes

Hughes is a free agent having been sacked by Stoke City in early January. With a wealth of experience in the Premier League, Hughes appears to be a safe candidate. However, having severely suffered this season, his appointment wouldn’t be seen as the most inspiring choice.

Marco Silva –

Despite supposedly not being on Southampton’s shortlist, Silva would make for a smart aquisition. Although the Portuguese manager’s tenure with Watford ended on a sour note, he has shown that he has the ability to perform in the Premier League, particularly while he was with Hull City and in his early days at Watford, and he is also a free agent. However, Portuguese reports suggest than Silva has been offered a two-year deal with Benfica starting in the summer which, if true, would likely see him return to his home country.

Slaven Bilić – 

Another man who is out of a job, Bilić is another with Premier League experience who could represent a smart option for Saints. Many feel that Bilić was unlucky in his final season at West Ham, with several things not going his way. The Croatian left London Stadium with a points average of 1.33, the best of any recent manager for the Hammers.

Paul Clement –

Clement joined Swansea in January 2017 to replace Bob Bradley, and enjoyed moderate success with the club. However, Clement’s downfall came in the summer transfer window, having sold off a lot of his top talent (such as Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente) and not finding adequate replacements, performances began to slide. However with a talented squad like Southampton’s, Clement could bring plenty of experience to the role.

Slaviša Jokanović – 

The Championship boss is certainly the wild card choice, but it could be one worth making. Jokanović has led the charge with his Fulham side this season, with the club having not lost in the league since December, climbing up to fourth in the table in the process. The Serbian has build a competitive side wherever he has been, and his work has been regarded so much so that he was recently linked with Chelsea. He also became only the fifth non-British manager to win promotion to the Premier League in 2015 with Watford, and could become the only non-British man to do it twice this season.

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