RALPH Hasenhuttl admits Maya Yoshida’s exit has increased Kevin Danso’s chances of playing in his favoured position.

Danso has been restricted to ten appearances for Saints since his loan move from Augsburg in the summer.

And only one of those has been in his preferred position at centre-half, with Hasenhuttl deploying him in one of the full-back positions for the most part.

But he has stepped up the pecking order following Yoshida’s move to Sampdoria on transfer deadline day. 

Hasenhuttl said: “He’s a young player and I know he always had to play a position so far that is not his best as a right or left-back. 

“He played one time [as a centre-back] in the Carabao Cup against Fulham. That’s where he is more used to playing. 

“Now, maybe in the future, he will have more chances as a centre-back where he is more comfortable.”

There was a chance of Danso leaving Saints during last month’s transfer window.

The south coast side were willing to let Danso leave the club if another side approached Augsburg and enquired about his services.

But then Sampdoria got in contact with the St Mary’s hierarchy about the possibility of signing Yoshida.

Augsburg’s sporting director, Stefan Reuter, recently admitted talks were had about Danso going elsewhere so that he could play regularly.

Reuter said: “We were concerned with that on the last day of the transfer window, but we didn’t do it.

“We were in a lot of exchanges but there was no solution.”

Hasenhuttl also revealed he did not want to stand in Yoshida’s way when Sampdoria came knocking on Saints’ door. 

The club felt letting him leave was the right thing to do so that he could play first-team football.

He added: “This decision was taken very quickly on the flight to Liverpool. It was a long time he played for this club. 

“He was an important player for this club but at the moment I cannot give him what he expects to get.

"He needs moments to play and it’s normal a player comes to the coach and says ‘I like it here and the way we play but I don’t play that often and need something else’.

"It was understandable and I wish him all the best. He’s a fantastic character and a fantastic player.”