Southampton firesale - madness or masterplan?

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As the summer transfer window reaches its final month questions are asked whether the relentless raid on Southampton players will continue and, more importantly, whether the club will continue to allow it.

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The sales of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren and now Calum Chambers, have raised an incredible £92million and this figure could yet increase with the likely imminent departures of Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez to Spurs.

A recent tweet showing an empty training ground from manager Ronald Koeman suggests it is not only the fans who are frustrated with their transfer policy.

Southampton’s unprecedented mass sales can be compared with other clubs. Leeds suffered a similar spell a decade ago arguably never recovering from offloading key players such as Rio Ferdinand, Harry Kewell and Alan Smith leading them to plummet from the Champions League to League One.

However it must be pointed out Southampton achieved promotion to the Premier League from League One within three years on the back of selling starlets such as Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott, therefore suggesting the club may have the experience and ability to recover.

What next?

These mass sales were always going to worry Saints fans as well as those outsiders who enjoyed their brand of football last season. However, a key indicator as to whether the club really is in meltdown this summer is how they reinvest.

Koeman has swiftly utilised his Dutch links bringing in two additions from Feyenoord and FC Twente. Feyenoord’s Italian striker Graziano Pelle has been brought in to fill the void left by Lambert and his much needed goals.

The fact Pelle chipped in 27 goals last season will not do any harm to his reputation and the confidence of Saint’s fans.

Similarly the addition of Serbian international Dušan Tadić shows an intent to rebuild, the often flamboyant midfielder has been a consistent performer in the Dutch league.

Moreover the loan arrival of Ryan Bertrand who had said to have interested various clubs including Liverpool can be seen as a much needed reinforcement after the sales of key defenders Shaw and Chambers.

On the other hand the number of Southampton key departures may still increase to seven and although these three reinforcements are a good start it appears Koemann needs to splash the new cash and bring in many more new faces.

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Adam Lallana
Premier League
Luke Shaw
Rickie Lambert

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