Saturday, September 23, 2017

Southampton bolster goalkeeping ranks with Hassen deal

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 31 Jan 2017

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Southampton have moved to add depth to their goalkeeping ranks by signing Mouez Hassen on loan from Nice.

Saints boss Claude Puel knows France youth international Hassen from his time at the Allianz Riviera, making 49 Ligue 1 outings during their time together.

However, Hassen has not made a single appearance for Puel’s successor Lucien Favre.

“I am really happy,” the 21-year-old told the club’s official website. “It’s a pleasure for me to come to England for the first time and I am really happy to get to know the Premier League.

“I am really looking forward to joining the team.”

Discussing his experience of Puel, Hassen added: “He’s got a great relationship with his players, he always speaks to them and he communicates well with everyone. He is always very straight with people and sticks to his values and principles.

“I respect that and so, to work together again here makes me very happy and shows that he values me as much as I do him. 

“I think the project that this club represents matches up perfectly with him and to have a manager like him can only be positive for the club. It’s a good thing that he’s here and above all it’s a real pleasure.

“He gave me my first chance in Ligue 1. He handed me my debut and gave me that confidence.”

Hassen will likely provide backup to first-choice goalkeeper Fraser Forster, with second-choice stopper Alex McCarthy sidelined with a hamstring injury and Paulo Gazzaniga on loan at Rayo Vallecano.

Southampton also have veteran Stuart Taylor and youngster Harry Lewis on their books.

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