After a good start to the new season, Southampton should not only consolidate their position in the Premier League, but also continue their journey towards contention for Europe.
In Mauricio Pochettino, Saints have a manager who controversially replaced fans' favourite Nigel Adkins, but has done well to win over fans.
The 41-year-old Argentinian does not have a wealth of managerial experience - but as a young manager, he is ambitious in his own system and knows how best to benefit from the transfer windows.
After a few tweaks, he has started to integrate his own style of football to the south of England, with his high pressure system reminiscent of Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund.
Pochettino's strong philosophy brought about immediate success for the Saints, whose wins over Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City have led to the fans quickly warming to the Argentinian manager.
Now, at the start of Pochettino's first full season, things should only get better (including his English).
Players and Style
In Artur Boruc, they have an experienced goalkeeper - not entirely eye-catching, but a solid pair of hands that can come to the Saints' aid when needed. Until the Saints settled on Boruc as first-choice, they had conceded 37 goals in 20 games - with the Pole's appointment, they conceded 22 in 18. Opponents will find it hard to score if Boruc remains number one, from day one.
Youth is an integral part of a club that has produced the likes of Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Now, the Saints have highly-lauded England prospect Luke Shaw, an 18-year-old left-back who recently signed a mega five-year contract to stay in south England; the Saints also have Nathaniel Clyne on the opposite full-back flank, whilst player of the year Morgan Schneiderlin is an impressive force in midfield. Keep an eye out for James Ward-Prowse, who played at the U20 World Cup and also signed a new five-year contract in November.
Like Barcelona, the Saints would do well to promote their youth, specially cultivated under Pochettino's philosophy.
Captain Adam Lallana suffered from injury last season, making 25 league appearances. However, the 25-year-old attacking midfielder is fit to impress among the top. If he adds goals to his play, as he did when scoring 11 goals in Southampton's promotion campaign, the Saints will benefit hugely.
Schneiderlin was voted Southampton's player of the season after flourishing under Pochettino's high-pressure system. With an energetic engine, the Frenchman's interceptions and tackles from midfield are vital to success. Still only 23, the Saints must keep him at St. Mary's.
Rickie Lambert is the toast of the nation after scoring with his first international touch against old enemies Scotland at Wembley. At the age of 31, the Englishman may be a late blossom for Roy Hodgson. If he adds to his 15 Premier League goals, he could be on the plane to Rio next summer.
Puncheon, Rodriguez, Schneiderlin and yet-to-flourish Uruguay international Gaston Ramirez are all also capable of pitching in with goals, whilst Mayuka should start to find the net regularly.
The Saints have been spending impressively in the summer window, attracting names that have been courted by bigger clubs.
Victor Wanyama represents a major coup in terms of transfers for Southampton. A record signing in the region of £12.5m, the Kenyan midfielder will suit the Saints' style of play alongside Schneiderlin. The 22-year-old can can also find the net and the tough-tackling duo should forge a formidable midfield.
Dejan Lovren, the 24-year-old Croat has also arrived at St. Mary's in a deal estimated to be in the region of £8.5m. The 17-times capped centre-back should help to restrict opposition offensives.
The future looks bright at Southampton, whose residents may revel not only in the sun, but also success in the years to come.
The fact Pochettino has installed a strong philosophy and has a wealth of youth at his disposal with which he can produce the perfect components for his system, means that Europe sometime in the future does not look a totally improbable fate.
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