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"He needs to..." - Manager sends blunt message to key Arsenal target during press conference

"He needs to..." - Manager sends blunt message to key Arsenal target during press conference

The manager didn't hold back.

Southampton manager Ruben Selles is not impressed by Romeo Lavia's recent form, amid interest from Arsenal and Manchester United.

Lavia arrived at St Mary's from Manchester City last summer, as part of Ralph Hasenhuttl's drive to sign youthful players.

The 19-year-old has gone on to play a crucial role for the Saints', during a dismal campaign which has seen the club slip to the bottom of the Premier League table, four points adrift of safety.

Most recently, Southampton suffered a humiliating 2-1 defeat to League Two Grimsby in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday, with some fans fearing fearing the worst.

Should they suffer relegation, supporters may be resigned to losing their top-performing players, such as Lavia and James Ward-Prowse.

Selles: "He's not impressing me"

However, speaking in his press conference, Selles didn't appear satisfied with Lavia's performances.

Selles was appointed Southampton's manager until the end of the season following Nathan Jones' dismissal.

Discussing Lavia, the Spaniard didn't mince his words, stating: "I will say he's not impressing me. He needs to step up and move forward."

The criticism comes soon after he was rumoured with a move away from the south coast, with Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea all thought to be keen on signing the Belgian.

However, Mikel Arteta, who is said to be in the market for two more midfielders this summer, holds a key advantage over his Premier League rivals.

The Gunners boss has links to Lavia's former club Manchester City, having worked as an assistant under Pep Guardiola between 2016 and 2019.

And whilst Lavia joined City's youth teams after Arteta had left for Arsenal, the Spaniard will be clued up on the pathway and philosophy that runs through the age group levels at the club.

In addition, Lavia may be drawn to the successes of ex-City stars Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko at the Emirates Stadium. Whilst Champions League football is as good as guaranteed next season.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Romeo Lavia, Southampton, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Premier League, Football, Transfers, Mikel Arteta