MANAGER Ralph Hasenhuttl insisted new recruit Ibrahima Diallo has been “waiting for the chance” to showcase his credentials in a Saints shirt.

The France under-21 international was signed from Brest for £12million during the summer transfer window.

Tours-born Diallo has made five substitute appearances in the Premier League this season – totalling just 18 minutes, as James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu continue to impress in central midfield.

Diallo did play 90 minutes for the club’s B team on Monday night, as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Brighton at St Mary’s in Premier League Two.

And while the midfielder has had to wait for his inaugural first-team start, Hasenhuttl is happy to see the competition in his ranks.

He said: “In the number six position with Ibra - when you see him in the week, he is a fantastic player and is waiting for the chance.

“But Oriol and Prowsey are doing a fantastic job at the moment. They are really good.

“It’s important for us to get better if you also have the quality in the sessions. This is how it should be.”

Saints are set to make the trip to Brighton in the Premier League on Monday.