With Southampton appointing a new boss plenty of the club’s younger players will be hoping to catch the eye of Ralph Hasenhuttl. That includes those out on loan, such as Jake Hesketh.
The 22-year-old attacking midfielder has long been considered one of the better young players at Southampton. With good reason. Compared to Adam Lallana for his combative but stylish playing style, the attacking midfielder was the 2014 scholar of the season at Southampton. An award previously won by the likes of Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
He made his debut for the club under Ronald Koeman in December 2014 but since then has barely featured for the club.
All-in-all he has four appearances for Southampton, scoring once in an EFL Cup win against Crystal Palace. Such a record should not be shirked at and Hasenhuttl will no doubt want a report on his desk regarding the player.
Unfortunate timing then, that Hesketh has just run into trouble on his current loan spell at Burton Albion.
The midfielder was hauled off against Shrewsbury at the weekend and Brewers manager Nigel Clough was clearly not impressed by his performance.
“I thought our two wide men, Jake Hesketh and Will Miller, got into some great positions in the first half and we didn’t get anything from them, enough quality crosses and things like that.
“That’s our strength, especially against Shrewsbury’s formation.
“We were a bit disappointed in that, and ultimately that’s why they both came off.”
In fairness to Hesketh, the wing is not his best position, preferring a central role. However, it was certainly not a good time to be criticised by your loan boss, just as a new manager arrives at your parent club.
He has a contract at the club running until 2021 so still has plenty of time to prove himself at Southampton. But he will need to improve on his displays if he is to convince Hasenhuttl he has a future at St Mary’s.