MANAGER Ralph Hasenhuttl described as “definitely a winner” promising midfielder Ibrahima Diallo and insisted: “He knows exactly what he wants to do.”

The Austrian boss said the France under-21 international had been “amazing” after he stepped up in place of the injured Oriol Romeu for the battle against defending champions Liverpool last time out.

Diallo played an integral role as Saints went on to seal a 1-0 victory over Jurgen Klopp’s men, thanks to Danny Ings’s early strike.

It was just the Tours-born star’s second start for Saints, having sealed a £12million switch from Ligue 1 outfit Brest in October.

Asked what Diallo was like to deal with as a character, Hasenhuttl said: “I think he is very professional and he is a little bit calm, but he is also aggressive.

“He doesn’t like to lose, he is definitely a winner. He knows exactly what he wants to do.

“To convince him to come here was not so easy because he really asked questions, I must say, that I haven’t had so often as a manager trying to sign a new player.

“He really wanted to know what we are about. I think everything we told him is exactly how he found it.”

He added: “The issue for him was that the team were playing so well, so it was difficult for him to step into the side.

“Although he understands this, he was not happy about it. But now is the moment he gets the chance to play.

“I don’t want to overload him with expectations. But he knows if he shows me what he can deliver, then that is enough for me.”

Diallo was one of three permanent signings from Saints during the summer transfer window.

Kyle Walker-Peters made his loan move a full transfer from Tottenham for £12million and Mohammed Salisu was signed from Real Valladolid in a £10.9m switch.

Asked about the adaptation period to bed in new players at St Mary’s, Hasenhuttl replied: “When you look at our signings we have made in the past two years or since I am here, there was never a player where you say he immediately is the new star in the team because for such players you need to spend maybe double or three times as much money as we did.

“You cannot expect that you sign a player for £10million or £15m and he immediately makes you much better than the players we have here because this is not possible. On the market today, for very good players you pay £30m to £40m normally.

“What we can sign is a player who has potential, they come here, show that there is potential and give us the time to develop this potential and make them better and make them maybe players that can really help us.

“This is what we did with Che Adams, with Kyle Walker-Peters, Theo Walcott was maybe a little bit different because he comes from a high level and only needs to get the trust in him back and he immediately performs. It was also surprising for me that he was going that quick, that he could show us this performance.

“But the other players, they were coming in and all needed this time and this is also with these new ones.”