Southampton boss reveals plans to replace ace with ‘Dutch Xavi’

At some point Manchester United’s desire to take Morgan Schneiderlin to Old Trafford this summer will mean they begrudgingly bow to Southampton’s demands, and when they do, Ronald Koeman has it covered.

Southampton-based newspaper, the Southern Daily Echo, quote the Saints manager speaking in candid fashion about his intentions to replace Schneiderlin with Koeman’s compatriot Jordy Clasie.

“Clasie is one of the players on the list that we have to replace Morgan Schneiderlin,” Koeman said.

“He is a good player, because he is a young player. “He is a Dutch international player and he’s ready to make a step (up) and to play and show his qualities on a higher level than we have in the Dutch league.

“If Morgan (Schneiderlin) goes, we need a player in that position and he is one of those.”

A graduate of their academy, Clasie has become a very important player at Eredivise giants Feyenoord over the past four seasons – making 129 appearances and notching eight times.

Still only 24, Clasie is the heartbeat of the Feyenoord midfield, where his ability to retain possession has seen the Dutchman draw comparisons to recently-retired Barcelona legend Xavi.

While such parallels possibly heap unwanted pressure on the 11-cap Holland international, they will clearly have Saints fans very excited about the possibility of attaining his services, even within the bitter-sweet scenario of losing another key player.

However, gaining such ringing endorsements from Koeman, a pass-master himself across a glittering career, will probably be the only seal of approval the St.Mary’s faithful require.

Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement worked wonders in replenishing his depleted stocks last summer, before guiding Saints to an unprecedented seventh-place top-flight finish.

With six assists and two goals to his name last season, Southampton fans will be hoping Clasie’s potential arrival can not only fill the void, but spur them onto break new ground once again.

Koeman and co are 5/2 to finish in the top six in 2015/16.

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