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Ralph Hasenhuttl keen for Armando Broja to ignore ‘hectic rumours’ over future

The 20-year-old striker has scored five Premier League goals for Saints.

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Armando Broja has scored five Premier League goals for Southampton (Adam Davy/PA)

Armando Broja has scored five Premier League goals for Southampton (Adam Davy/PA)

Armando Broja has scored five Premier League goals for Southampton (Adam Davy/PA)

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has urged loan star Armando Broja to focus on football and not become preoccupied by “hectic rumours” surrounding his future.

Striker Broja is at St Mary’s on a season-long deal from Chelsea and has become increasingly influential, including scoring five Premier League goals.

Hasenhuttl has made no secret of his desire to keep the 20-year-old Albania international beyond the current campaign.

But the Austrian coach is not concerned about completing a permanent transfer before the end of the January transfer window and is eager for Broja to avoid distractions.

“To be honest, it doesn’t affect me massively because I know he’s here until the end of the season,” Hasenhuttl said of potentially striking a deal with Chelsea this month.

“We have enough time to talk to them, to talk about our future with him.

“Let this guy play football, let this guy do their job. I think it’s very important for the young players that they can develop their game in a calmness and not with these hectic rumours around; it doesn’t help any young player, especially not him.

“This is what we try to do, we try to calm everything down because he should concentrate on his job and that is what he’s here for.”

Hasenhuttl was initially far from convinced by Broja following his arrival in August, questioning the judgement of Southampton’s scouts and holding some frank discussions with the player.

But the Slough-born forward has gone on to more than justify his acquisition, producing a series of electric performances underpinned by his powerful running and physical presence.

Ahead of Saturday’s home clash with runaway leaders Manchester City, Broja is Saints’ top scorer in all competitions with seven goals and has been preferred to Che Adams and Adam Armstrong in recent games.

“I think he definitely enjoys it here and he should see what he has with this club because we gave him a big chance to show up,” said Hasenhuttl.

“We don’t need somebody to say ‘thank you’ for this, he only should do his job and should help us as long as we have the deal.

“The deal is we give you a platform, you give everything you have for this club – this is the deal we have with everybody – and we are a more successful club when he does a good job.”

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