Ronald Koeman wants Southampton to become even more Dutch as he looks to strengthen squad

The Saints manager has already signed his countryman Eljero Elia on loan from Werder Bremen this month

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The Independent Online

Ronald Koeman, the Southampton manager, will continue to scour his native Netherlands rather than sign English players as he plans to strengthen his squad.

Koeman’s decision to sign Eljero Elia on loan from Werder Bremen has already paid dividends, with the Dutch winger scoring both goals against Newcastle United last Saturday to keep Southampton in third place in the Premier League.

The manager has admitted more could follow: “I have [my eyes] on several young players, but not now, for next season, of course,” he said.

“It’s a philosophy of this club to work with young players and there are some good young ones in Holland. They know the language and they can adapt in a fast way to the Premier League.

“We know that the Dutch league is not the best in Europe but young players can develop themselves to play every weekend and that is what young players need.

“We have a fantastic school in Holland for young players, but sometimes they leave Holland too fast, because they need more experience. But we have enough talent in Holland and importantly they know the way I like to play with the team.”

Elia will be in the squad for Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to Crystal Palace, when Koeman will resist the temptation to rest players for the pursuit of a Champions League place.

“Of course, the Premier League is the most important competition, but I believe in winning, that’s the best medicine,” Koeman added.

“I’m lucky that I don’t have a lot of numbers of players to think about making changes. We’ll put out the strongest team that we can. We’ve had some days off this week  and the players are back in freshness.

“We had a great week last week with good results in difficult games, and we’d like to go on.”

Southampton will be without the likes of first-team regulars Toby Alderweireld, Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin against Palace, although Koeman hopes they should all return within a couple of weeks.

One player who might not be around for the prospect of the Champions League is Jack Cork after Koeman said the midfielder had one week to sign a new contract.

“We are still waiting about the answer of Jack and we like to know it next week,” the manager said.

“Of course [it is important to know his plans] because that makes plans for the future, for next season.”

Taste for Oranje: The Koeman effect

Eljero Elia Dutch international arrived on loan this month 

Dusan Tadic Joined from Twente last year

Graziano Pellè Signed from Feyenoord last year

Erwin Koeman, Ronald’s brother, and Jan Kluitenberg are on the coaching staff. Toby Alderweireld and Maya Yoshida have played in the Netherlands. Dutchman Jos Hooiveld is out on loan

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