Koeman hails Saints' Dutch-style model

New Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is confident that he will feel perfectly at home at St Mary's Stadium.

Koeman was named as Mauricio Pochettino's successor at the south-coast club on Monday, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal.

And the former Netherlands international believes Southampton's philosophy of promoting players from their youth system - which has produced the likes of Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Luke Shaw - is reminiscent of the model employed in his homeland.

"The first meeting (with Southampton's head of football development Les Reed) was talking about football and what was most important was the philosophy of the club," Koeman told Southampton's official website.

"I knew a lot about Southampton because over in Holland we know that the youth academy is very famous.

"It's a little bit like Holland - they give opportunities to young players and that's important for Southampton FC, to give young players a chance in the first team."

Koeman is the only man to have both played for and managed the three traditional powerhouses in Dutch football - Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord - and he has also enjoyed stints in charge of Benfica and Valencia.

The 51-year-old has never previously worked in England, but he is relishing the opportunity to test himself in the Premier League.

"It's always been a great ambition because we always see a lot of games in the Premier League in Holland and it's maybe the strongest competition in Europe with great players and great managers," Koeman added.

"We admire the Premier League. I said one day to myself that if I do get the opportunity to manage in England then I would like to do that.

"This possibility to become the new manager of Southampton was an important step forward for me as a coach and I like it very much." 


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