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Ronald Koeman: European Football’s most underrated manager

Southampton have done well to hold on Ronald Koeman for this long without attracting interest from a top European team. Former Barcelona great has already proved his managerial pedigree by being in charge of Ajax, Benfica, PSV and Valencia but he is yet to be regarded as a top manager.

Two standout features of Koeman’s time at St. Mary’s has been his shrewd scouting abilities and playing with a degree of flair. By signing players like Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic, Koeman has made Southampton one of the most fluid teams going forward.

Defensively Southampton are as solid as it gets which is largely down to Virgil Van Dijk and Frasor Forster, who were signed by Ronald Koeman. Unlike his two Dutch compatriots Louis Van Gaal and Guus Hiddink, Koeman is not at all negative in his approach even against a team which is better than Southampton.

Saints have been Premier League’s biggest giant killers this season after beating Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham. To top it all, they did it in style by playing an attacking brand of football.

These results and performances show Koeman’s managerial worth which can easily be put to great use by teams with better resources than Southampton. I was surprised to see the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City looking elsewhere to find their next manager when they have a hidden gem in Koeman with enough Premier League experience.

Koeman’s work is not limited to just man management and shrewd scouting. He has won Eredivise title thrice and has a Copa Del Ray success to his name as well. Till now he has worked with teams who had limited resources and it is about time he gets a crack at the highest level of European football.

On a personal note, I believe Koeman, 53 is destined to manage Barcelona one day given his God-like status at Camp Nou. Before it happens, Premier League teams or for that matter Serie A sides can seriously consider Ronald Koeman as a worthy candidate to be their next manager.

We often see big teams gamble on young managers with very little success history so why not give a manager of Ronald Koeman’s caliber a fair chance at managing a top team in Premier League or at European level.

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