Caballero poised for starting berth

By SFC Media time Thu 09 Dec Arsenal vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Willy Caballero

Ralph Hasenhüttl has confirmed that newcomer Willy Caballero is likely to make his Southampton debut on Saturday as a Premier League matchup with Arsenal looms.

The move for free agent Caballero was prompted by injuries to regular goalkeeping duo Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster, who are both currently sidelined, with Hasenhüttl suggesting that Caballero could be asked to fill the void as early as this weekend.

The manager has been impressed with the Argentine's work ethic in the short period he's been with the club and confident in utilising his services for a busy run of games over the December period.

Both McCarthy and Forster are expected to miss the next few weeks as they recover from respective muscle problems.

"Yes, likely possible," Hasenhüttl answered when asked about the prospect of Caballero starting at Emirates Stadium. "Because Alex [McCarthy] is out for three or four weeks. Fraser [Forster] tried this week but it's a little bit too early for him also.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Willy Caballero during a Southampton FC training session at the Staplewood Campus on December 07, 2021 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Caballero joins in Southampton training this week

"That's the reason why we signed Willy [Caballero] and we're happy to have him here. He knows how he has to play with the ball, against the ball. He's a smart guy, a very good guy.

"He's fit and coming in with the willingness to help us, this is what we need right now.

"He's experienced, as you said. He knows how to play out from behind. A good package I think, for us, hopefully Andrew [Sparkes] brings him to the level that we need for the weekend.

"We'll try to defend everything, but against Arsenal you can be sure that you need a goalkeeper who is ready to make some saves."

On Moussa Djenepo's recent absence, he added: "He had a private problem. After this, not really a big issue, but to find the rhythm back on the pitch it took a little bit. He's training with the team in the moment, we have a lot of duals in the 10 position. Maybe the hardest position in the squad to find a way into the starting XI."

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