Mauricio Pellegrino Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters

LONDON - English Premier League side Southampton named Argentinian coach Mauricio Pellegrino as their new manager on Friday to replace Claude Puel, who was sacked after just one season in charge.

The 45-year-old Pellegrino, who had been in charge of Alaves in Spain, has agreed a three-year contract at St Mary’s and will officially join up with Southampton next week, the club said.

"I am really happy to become the new coach of Southampton Football Club. The club has a great reputation for having a strong and stable structure, competing in the Premier League and playing attractive football," said Pellegrino.

He added: "I think my philosophy and the culture of the club will work well together. 

"We have to be a team on and off the pitch; I want to make the supporters proud of the players and to feel part of the game every week.

"I want to win matches, be successful and develop a team spirit where everyone gives 100 percent and supports each other.

"I am excited and passionate about what the future holds for us and look forward to meeting the players and beginning our preparation for the new season."

Pellegrino is the second Argentinian to manage south coast club Saints, with Mauricio Pochettino in charge of Southampton before moving to Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Puel, 55, took Southampton to a respectable eighth-place finish in the table and to the League Cup final where they were defeated by Manchester United.

But that was not enough to prevent the Frenchman being sacked amid complaints regarding his "unattractive" style of football.

AFP

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