Ralph Hasenhuttl hails Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap after his dominant performance

The Saints manager picked up the 20-year-old’s summer signing for an impressive defensive performance, where he used his dominance to keep Chelsea at bay and secured all three points for Hasenhuttle’s side.

His performance reflected the youthful enthusiasm of Southampton, which saw them go down 1–0 to win the game, thanks to goals from Romeo Lavia and Adam Armstrong.

Ralph Hasenhuttle pleased with Southampton's Armel Bella-Kottachap's performance

Ralph Hasenhuttle pleased with Southampton’s Armel Bella-Kottachap’s performance

German defender Bella-Cotchapp celebrates Southampton's 2-1 win over Chelsea on Tuesday

German defender Bella-Cotchapp celebrates Southampton’s 2-1 win over Chelsea on Tuesday

However, it was Bela-Kotchap, who was singing praises after the Hausenhutl game and championing his defender’s physical abilities.

“When you look at his physical quality, he is perfect for the Premier League,” Hasenhuttl said. ‘And that’s what we expected in the summer.

‘I was questioning more whether he had the right mindset but it looks like the Premier League is very interesting for him and he is completely focused.’

This is the opinion shared by BT Sport pundit Germain Janus and Saints legend Francis Benel, who spoke on the German’s performance after an impressive win.

Bella-Cotchap was praised for a key performance in defense, where he kept Chelsea at bay

Bella-Cotchapp was praised for an impressive performance in defense, where he kept Chelsea at bay

‘He is one of those five or six players who have made an immediate impact.’ Bennell said.

‘What we are seeing is a maturity beyond his years. He assumes great positions and recognizes danger.’

Whereas Janus was pleased with Bella-Cotchap’s maturity and how he took command of the game.

“He has authority in the way he plays, how aggressive he is in tackles and his sense of position, you always want someone to go ahead and he wants to take that mantra at 20 years old.

‘He also played well against United and continues to produce his scouting.’

Southampton's Romeo Lavia ruled out with hamstring injury

Southampton’s Romeo Lavia ruled out with hamstring injury

There was only one small downside to the win, with fellow new recruit Romeo Lavia suffering a hamstring injury, the news of which Hasenhutl is waiting to hear.

Everything is very positive except for a worrying hamstring injury for Romeo (Lavia), who will hopefully not be out for too long.


The 55-year-old, however, gave credit to Southampton fans at St Mary’s and explained how he kept the Saints in line in the closing stages of the match.

“The atmosphere tonight was sensational. It took us the last 15 minutes when we were under pressure at times.”

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