Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl believes it is critical for the Premier League’s credibility that players hired in January are not allowed to play in games that were postponed prior to their arrival.
Following coronavirus outbreaks, 18 top-flight matches have been postponed.
In December, coronavirus outbreaks forced the cancellation of 16 top-flight matches, including two on the first weekend of the new season.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has requested that the Premier League consider prohibiting clubs from allowing their January signings to play in rescheduled games.
Top-flight clubs are currently battling with a fixture backlog, with many being rescheduled this month to avoid a huge fixture pile-up towards the conclusion of the season.
Hasenhuttl, on the other hand, believes that any new acquisitions made in the January window should be considered ineligible to participate.
“We were debating what happens with the winter signings in the postponed games and whether they are allowed to play or not at the last Premier League meeting,” he told the Athletic.
“I brought it up at the previous Premier League meeting and suggested that we consider it because of the league’s integrity.”
“Playing in games that have been postponed and the last word hasn’t been spoken yet isn’t really fair.”
While it is understood that such a decision is unlikely, if the Premier League accepts the Saints manager’s proposal and implements it, clubs such as Newcastle United and Aston Villa would be affected, preventing new signings Kieran Trippier and Philippe Coutinho from playing in certain rescheduled matches.
Hasenhuttl went on to say that while he wasn’t calling for the rule to be implemented, it would assist to level the playing field in the competition.
“We’ve had 18 games postponed so far,” he remarked, “and you can’t stop playing in December and wait for the January signings to play.”
“No one has done it yet, but it may be an opportunity in the future, and this is something we should avoid.”
“But it’s the same for us since we have a new owner and might buy four players and then play a different team against Brentford.”
“This isn’t right, and it’s why they should consider it.”
Given the fact that most Premier League teams have strengthened their squads and are looking more formidable with the newest arrivals so far, this is a legitimate statement.
Newcastle just secured the signature of England International, Kieran Trippier as well as Aston Villa signing Coutinho on loan from Barcelona. So you see, very valid observations from the Southampton manager.