RALPH Hasenhuttl sang the praises of “good lad” Lyanco, with the Austrian saying it is “no secret” how much he enjoys having the centre-half at the club.

It is a sentiment shared by others around St Mary’s, with the passion of the Brazilian-Serbian seeping into the squad. A summer signing for a reported fee of £6.4 million, the former Torino defender has quickly settled in England, winning over fans with the way he plays football with a smile on his face.

Of course, a positive attitude can only get you so far in football, but Hasenhuttl revealed how he has also been impressed with Lyanco’s performances as well – even though the centre-back rarely plays with the calm nature associated with the position.

Hasenhuttl also believes that Lyanco has already made “massive” progress since joining the south coast side.

Speaking about the Brazilian, Saints’ boss told press: “It is no secret that I love the passion of this guy and the way he approached his game, sure.

“I must say since he has been here, he has made a massive progress, still in some moments it looks a little bit hectic.

“But this is how he wants to play and especially in the duals one against one, he's very, very good. I must say he is really a fighter there and scared of nothing.

“Very good character, very good lad. Everybody loves him here in the club and the potential for a big future here, definitely.”

At only 24, Saints will hope that Lyanco’s best years are ahead of him. The fact that fellow centre-half Mohammed Salisu is also at the young age of 22 means that Saints potentially have found their centre-back pairing for years to come.

Whilst both are prone to making rash decisions, the naivety of youth should fade over the years, meaning the combined outlay of a reported £17.5m could prove to be an astute purchase in the future.

Saints will have all four of their centre-halves available for the trip to Wolves, leaving Hasenhuttl with the decision to revert back to four at the back, or pick three central defenders in a 3-5-2 formation.