Most football fans would agree, Southampton play some really good and exciting passing football. The Saints have one of the youngest, most exciting squads in the Premier League, but few would have predicted this.

Their win this past weekend against a recently impressive Swansea side has put them fourth after seven matches. With 31 to go, can they really join Europe's elite?

Just three years ago, Southampton were in the third tier of English football, they were knocked out of the Football League Trophy with a 3-0 loss to Swindon and were beaten two nil at home and away by the mighty Rochdale.

The Saints have come a long way in three seasons.

The most surprising aspect about Southampton's rise back to the top flight is that some of their key players in the Premier League today endured the low's of League One and played in the double defeats to Rochdale. Morgan Schneiderlin, Adam Lallana, Jose Fonte, Guly do Prado and England striker Rickie Lambert have all played a major role in getting the Saints back to the top flight.

The Saints' Academy in Marchwood, on the edge of the New Forest is regarded as one of the best in Europe. Recent graduate, left-back Luke Shaw, has been tipped as a future England regular and despite being only 18, has cemented his place in Pochettino's starting line-up.

During Southampton's sojourn in the Football League, the Saints' Academy continued to produce young players of excellence. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and recent €100 million Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale all made their professional debut's at the St. Mary's and moved to big Premier League clubs.

Fans often wonder what might have been, if the club were able to hold onto these players. Even without Walcott et al, Southampton are above Manchester United in the Premier League and find themselves playing brilliant football, with the best academy in the land and the potential of facing Bale at the Santiago Bernabeu next season. 

Can they do it? What do you think?

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Southampton