Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has described Tino Livramento’s ACL injury as a “big blow”, admitting “football is sometimes nasty”.
The club announced on Wednesday the 19-year-old defender was likely to be out for the rest of the year after sustaining the knee damage in the 2-2 draw at Brighton three days earlier. Livramento twisted awkwardly while attempting to challenge Seagulls midfielder Enock Mwepu.
Hasenhuttl told a press conference ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Crystal Palace: “For sure it’s a big blow for him and for sure also for us.
“There are not a lot of positive things you can take out of this, because it is a big setback for him.
“The good thing is, if you want, that he has had his first, very good year for us, so he has shown that he is absolutely a Premier League player, and this helps you a little bit when you go into rehab for such a long time, to come back even stronger hopefully.
“We have a very good team here that is taking care of him. Hopefully the surgery is perfect and then we have a lot of time to work with him.
“If you want to take a positive thing, then there is a lot of break in this time – we have the summer break, then the World Cup in the winter. But it’s only a little consolation for him. In the end, it is how it is, football is sometimes nasty.
“This movement didn’t look so bad to be honest from outside, but he immediately felt the crack and that was clear it was something serious, and now we know it, and now we have to handle it.”
Hasenhuttl said there was a “fantastic” group of players at the club to support Livramento, and added: “A young lad, first big injury in his life, it’s not so easy to handle this.
“But then you need definitely players around you that give you a few positive feedbacks and tell about their experience, and that helps you definitely.
“The longer you are out the harder it is, because the less contact you have sometimes with the lads. But for Tino I think it’s good that he has his family around him, not far away – he can go to London and have them around him.
“He lives in Southampton, other players do also and they will also have contact with him, and that helps definitely. The rest we have to do as a club, to help him.”
Hasenhuttl also talked up another teenager at the club, 16-year-old midfielder Tyler Dibling, after his hat-trick for the Saints’ B team.
Footage of Dibling’s treble of near-identical strikes from just outside the area has generated a considerable amount of attention, and Hasenhuttl said: “We know his qualities and it is clear that we (must) try to keep it calm.
“I think he is one of the shining players in our youth and you know meanwhile it is always difficult to keep them in our club.
“The good thing is we see how good he is, the bad thing is also other clubs are seeing it. But for sure we will try to push him and support him because I think he is one of the good ones.
“It’s always good to see when such a young player gives you some talents. We don’t want to hang it too high when you score three goals for the B team, but we know that this is not normal.
“But in the end we know this player a little bit longer now, we have an eye on him and he is definitely a player that can be a big player for the future of Southampton.”
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