Southampton: Ruben Selles makes interesting Jack Stephens claim ahead of Bournemouth clash

Southampton manager Ruben Selles has expressed his desire to have Jack Stephens back with the Saints following his loan stint with AFC Bournemouth.

Stephens, who has been on Southampton’s books since 2011, joined Bournemouth on a season-long loan last summer.

The defender has since been a key player for the Cherries, making 19 appearances across all competitions.

Stephens has helped Bournemouth steer clear of the relegation zone; the Cherries now sit five points above the 18th-placed Everton.

Meanwhile, Selles has admitted that he would like to have Stephens at his disposal at Southampton next season.

“All I can say is that I would like Jack [Stephens] to be in the house and Jack to be here,” Selles told a press conference [via Jacob Tanswell]. I would like him to be back at the end of the loan.”

It remains to be seen if Stephens would want to return to Southampton, especially if the Saints suffer relegation and Bournemouth survive.

Southampton face Bournemouth on Thursday, April 27th

While Bournemouth have moved away from the drop zone, Southampton still sit at the bottom of the table.

The Saints are four points behind 17th-placed Leicester City, who have played a game more, however.

Selles and Co will be determined to reduce the gap with the Foxes to one point with a win against Bournemouth, who they host at St. Mary’s on Thursday, April 27th.

Southampton go into the game on the back of an encouraging 3-3 draw against table-toppers Arsenal.

It remains to be seen if the Hampshire-based club can take confidence from their draw against the Gunners.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, will be determined to bounce back from their 4-0 defeat against West Ham United last weekend.

It is worth noting that Stephens, who has started each of Bournemouth’s last 11 league games, cannot feature on Thursday as he is ineligible to face his parent club.