Ronald Koeman expects Jordy Clasie to prove his worth
Ronald Koeman expects Jordy Clasie to demonstrate his ability to replace Morgan Schneiderlin when he returns to Southampton's first team against Leicester on Saturday.
Since a brief Europa League appearance in which he suffered a hamstring injury, the midfielder has remained unavailable for Southampton since arriving for £10.5million from Feyenoord during the summer transfer window, when the £25million Schneiderlin joined Manchester United.
After revealing that Shane Long will be unavailable for the next two-to-four weeks having injured his ankle ligaments while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, Koeman said that he expects Clasie to return in the Premier League on Saturday.
He is also optimistic that the most promising of his summer signings will add qualities to his team that they have otherwise been missing, and at a time when the club's prospects are again looking strong.
"Jordy has some qualities compared to Schneiderlin," said Koeman, who earlier on Thursday reiterated his desire to remain Southampton's manager regardless of if he is offered the Holland job.
"In our ball possession, and also to know and to do when we need to press, because he's very fast in short spaces.
"His first pass is always forwards, it's never back; he's trying to pass forwards and between the lines, (encouraging) good movements of the players. We need that, and can do that better in our football.
"(Clasie) knows that he has to bring his level, and that it's a tough competition - it's not a Dutch league - and we have to bring more (to support him) because he's not the most physical player.
"That means that other qualities you have to improve, on this level, on this intensity of the game, but he needs time for that after his injury."