Ralph Hasenhüttl believes the Premier League should consider preventing January signings from featuring in matches rearranged from the past month. Southampton complained to the league about a perceived lack of transparency after their game last Sunday did not go ahead because of a combination of Covid cases and injuries in the Newcastle camp.
Hasenhüttl said he raised the issue at the last Premier League managers’ meeting and has called for the league to consider banning signings from playing in rescheduled games to protect the division’s integrity. Newcastle, for example, completed the purcahse of Kieran Trippier on Friday and the defender would be eligible for the rearranged match at St Mary’s.
“It is for us the same,” Hasenhüttl said. “We can also now with our new owners sign three players and I don’t think it is really fair for them to play in games that have been postponed. I think the last word is not spoken so far. I was disappointed we could not play because we have been in good shape. We also had five cases of Covid. It is not long ago that we had to fill up our team with nine academy players and then we got a big defeat against Man United.”
Southampton visit Swansea in the FA Cup on Saturday and take on Brentford in a rearranged league game on Tuesday. “I think it should maybe be something the Premier League is discussing,” Hasenhüttl said. “How many games have we had postponed? I think 16, 17 or 18 games so far. It is something that you cannot stop playing in December and wait for a signing in January to play.
“Nobody did this but it could in the future be an opportunity. You shouldn’t get that … We could now sign four players and against Brentford we could play with a completely different squad.”
The goalkeeper Willy Caballero has agreed a contract extension until the end of the season.