MANAGER Ralph Hasenhuttl described as a “role model” Kyle Walker-Peters for adapting his game at Saints and added: “We enjoy having him here.”

The talented 23-year-old initially joined on loan from Tottenham in January 2020, before making his deal permanent over the summer.

Since that £12million move, Walker-Peters has played 90 minutes in every fixture for Saints.

The only time he did not finish a match was when he was replaced deep into stoppage time during the 3-2 defeat to Manchester United.

He produced another sublime display to keep quiet Sadio Mane during Saints’ 1-0 victory over Liverpool on Monday.

Asked how happy he was with Walker-Peters’s development, Hasenhuttl told the Daily Echo: “Maybe if you want a role model for what is possible, for when you are immediately trying to learn quick and adapt your game to what is necessary, if you want to play for Southampton.

“I think you see a player now who is very confident with the ball but also against the ball with clear habits.

“I saw in the beginning of the season two games that were not so good – especially against the ball, he made a few mistakes.

“But we worked hard with him, we showed him immediately and he is a quick learner. That’s always good, always helpful if you want to get better.

“I think he really enjoys playing in this team at the moment. We enjoy having him here because he definitely helps us.

“You see how important the full-back position is in every shape. There’s a lot of possession, you very often are the link from building up to the 10s and strikers.

“So it’s important to have a player there that knows what he has to do on the ball, to find the right decisions, keep the ball on the ground.

“Against the ball, this is something he can improve with his quality in the duels but also this part of his game is getting better.

“The package as a complete one is getting better.”

Walker-Peters, who has represented England throughout the youth age groups, has now played 28 times for Saints at senior level.

Asked how good the Edmonton-born star could be, Hasenhuttl replied: “We don’t know how good we can be – all of us. I speak for every player in the team. I don’t see the limits for anybody.

“If you are constantly getting better you never know. There shouldn’t be any limits.

“If you set your limits, then set it as high as possible I think, because then you don’t block yourself.

“We brought him here – he’s a long-term project for us and we are happy he’s here.

“This is not only for him, every player who is here or likes to stay with us is invited to sign a new contract – to extend his time here with us.

“If he thinks he must go to a bigger club, or to a more famous one, it’s also okay. When we get the right transfer fee, we can handle this also.

“We have a few young lads, who are pushing on the door and really want to show up, this is the way we will always go.”