Southampton have had a great season and managed to secure a strong 8th place. However, there is a lot of uncertainty over whether they can maintain the success they experienced this season due to the amount of players who are rumoured to be leaving this summer.
The loss of manager Mauricio Pochettino to Spurs could prove a huge blow for Southampton as the new manager will have to negotiate well for the sale of players but also choose their replacements well too.
This article will look at the current squad and identify its strengths and weaknesses rather than speculating on potential transfers.
Artur Boruc has had a good season this year and has finished with 14 clean sheets in 29 games. With experienced Kelvin Davis as backup this is a safe position that the Saints do not have to worry about replacing and it allows them the focus on other positions.
Nathaniel Clyne has shown himself to be a quality full back with good offensive and defensive capabilities and at 23 years old he has the potential to get even better. Calum Chambers is another player which shows great potential and is catching the eye of a number of clubs. He is yet another example of Southampton's youth academy and looks to be a promising player.
Not much needs to be said regarding Luke Shaw. At 18 he is already part of the England World Cup squad and is yet another quality young player. This season has shown that Shaw is able to compete at the highest levels and has established him over more experienced players in the squad. If the Saints do lose Shaw they will no doubt have to replace him. However, with the sale of Danny Fox the Saints are left without sufficient cover for this position and so cover will be needed regardless.
Dejan Lovren has proved a quality transfer for Southampton and if they can hold onto him this summer he will be a basis for the new manager to build around. Jose Fonte has been Lovren's partner at the back and has played well but if Southampton are going to try to push higher up the table they will have to find a more capable partner. It is the same case as the backup for the position; Maya Yoshida and Jos Hooiveld are not capable of being a first team players if Lovren or Fonte were injured and so the new manager may have to address this issue.
Morgan Schneiderlin has been a revelation and has shown how much ability he possesses. At times he has shown the discipline needed for a defensive midfielder and has managed to pull the team together when they needed to grind out a result. Victor Wanyama has not been such a success, failing to register a single goal or assist in 23 games, after signing for £12.5 million fans might have expected a little more from the signing. But at 21 years old he still has plenty of time to prove himself at St Marys. With Jack Cork and Steven Davis as cover Southampton have this position well covered.
CM - James Ward-Prowse is yet another promising young player for Southampton who looks set to become a very good player in the future. Despite being only 19 years of age he played 34 games this season and has claimed his place in the first team ahead of more experienced players due to his great form. Although there is little back up for this position many of the defensive midfielders are comfortable with this position and so cover is not desperately needed.
Adam Lallana is another player who held incredible form throughout the season and has become an exciting prospect for the World Cup. Although the captain only finished the season with nine goals and six assists in 38 games his effect on the rest of the team is very visible. There has been much debate surrounding Gaston Ramirez as he was another big money signing that has not had an immediate effect. In 18 games he only managed to get his name on the score sheet once and only provided three assists. Therefore the new manager will have to decide whether to have faith in the Uruguayan, and if Lallana does leave he will be under a lot of pressure to perform and fill the void that would be left.
This is a weak area of the squad with only Jay Rodriguez capable of playing the position to a first team quality. Southampton have been playing other midfielders in these roles which have worked well but it reduces the flexibility of the squad and so is an area that should be addressed in the summer transfer window.
This is another weak area of the squad especially with the departure of Rickie Lambert and Emmanuel Mayuka yet to prove himself in the Premier League. There is debate over whether Dani Osvaldo should remain at St Marys or not, there is no doubt over his ability but there is a question over whether he works well within a team or not. Southampton will have to bolster this position if they hope to retain the same success as the past season.
Southampton have an incredible amount of potential coming through the ranks but to succeed they have to hold onto their promising starlets. This summer has the potential to be decisive for Southampton, if they spend wisely and manage to retain most of this season's players then they have a good chance of recreating the same success.
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