Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has admitted that former Director of Football Operations Ross Wilson moving to Rangers is a “big loss”.

The German coach was speaking after highly-rated Wilson left the Premier League post to take up a job of Sporting Director at Ibrox.

It’s a move which has largely been applauded by football voices and Rangers fans, and Hasenhuttl’s comments back up exactly why.

“It was surprising for me, but what I can say is that I had a very good relationship with him,” said Austrian Hasenhuttl, who managed Bundesliga side RB Leipzig before Southampton.

“I liked to work with him, he is a nice and fantastic character, a fantastic personality and I enjoyed every minute with him.

 

“I wish him all the best. He goes to a famous club to a big club and has a new challenge. It was, I think, about five years here.

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“For us, it is a big loss for sure – but this is what happens in football. For us it will be important that we bring somebody new in and we will do this.

Wilson was clearly a very popular man on the south coast. (Photo by Stuart Martin/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

“This will be the main work for the board and for (chief executive) Martin (Semmens). They are still busy in this part I am sure.

“I have other things to look at and work to do, but I will also have my opinion for this position.”

It’s a glowing recommendation from the Saints manager and shows why Rangers were so determined to get Ross to Ibrox.

Rangers were interested in taking Wilson to Ibrox back in 2017 but the Southampton recruitment guru said it was a matter of “timing” which made him refuse the “fantastic” position.

Ross Wilson will now work with Rangers boss Steven Gerrard behind the scenes at Ibrox. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

But after Mark Allen – the man who Rangers would sign as instead – left his role as technical director, it opened the door to return with a move for the former Falkirk, Huddersfield and Watford man.

Claims from the press that Wilson was to recommend Hearts’ youngster Aaron Hickey [Scottish Sun] as the first move of his tenure were later shot down by Hearts boss Craig Levein [Edinburgh Evening News].

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