After an impressive campaign last season we saw a fearsome Southampton side showcasing each individual’s talents and abilities from the team.
A crop of youth players came through such as the likes of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers in particular.
If you think back, it wasn’t too long ago before they were working their way through the divisions. It wasn’t until Nigel Adkins earned them successive promotions from League one to the Championship and then the Premier League.
Many of course then thought it was harsh when he was given the sack by the people upstairs, then as his replacement they appointed the mysterious but talented Mauricio Pochettino who, even though only stayed for the one season led his team to an impressive eighth place in the table.
Pochettino’s team last season impressed so much that it was only natural that his team garnered a large period of attention and acclaim. However, good things don’t always come without a hefty price, e.g. all their players…
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Key Staff and players who departed at the end of last season:
Adam Lallana (Liverpool £25m) - Rickie Lambert (Liverpool £4m) - Luke Shaw (Manchester United £27m) - Calum Chambers (Arsenal £16m) - Dejan Lovren (Liverpool £20m) - Billy Sharp (Leeds United undisclosed) - Gaston Ramirez (Hull City loan) - Artur Boric (Bournemouth loan) - Pablo Osvaldo (Inter Milan loan)
And of course the manager Mauricio Pochettino, who left for Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the previous campaign in the hope of one day managing a Champions League side.
Either way, from all of the players they sold, Southampton raked in close to £100 million in transfer fees.
After all who had departed at the end of last season many had tipped them to be relegated back into the Championship as no one could comprehend how a team like Southampton could cope after selling most of their best players.
Towards the dying embers of last season’s transfer window the club did however manage to keep hold of one star player in particular, Morgan Schneiderlin who was reported to have handed in a transfer request in an attempt to engineer a move to Spurs, of course following the path of former boss Pochettino.
He was reportedly worth a sum of around £20 million, but the club took control of the situation before any action could be taken by any other player and any other club, they denied him the move and told him he was staying put, a decision he did not take lightly at the time as he then later sent out an angry tweet to fans directed at the club's decision to not let him go.
As stated, many would have thought that probably the club were going to crumble as they had sold most of their prized assets. At the start of the season the club appointed current manager Ronald Koeman. Critics thought that he had his work cut out but however, on quite the contrary Koeman put the money garnered from the previous summer sales to good use and brought in some quality players and some very smart signings.
Key players brought in:
Dusan Tadic (FC Twente £10.9m) - Graziano Pelle (Feyenoord £8m) - Fraser Forster (Celtic £10m) - Florin Gardos (Steaua Bucharest £4m) - Shane Long (Hull City £12m) - Sadio Mana (Red Bull Salzburg £11,8m) - Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea loan)
A total estimation amount spent of around £56.7 million.
The players that have been brought in have shown true quality since the start of the season thus far, and show no sign of letting up. It's brilliant for all the fans involved in this unprecedented run in the Premier League this season who find their team currently sitting fairly comfortably in second place behind one of the strongest Chelsea teams in recent memory, of course, no shame there.
The only thing that can possibly be on fans’ minds at the moment is what’s the secret? Many must think it’s a good mix and blend of the right players along with of course a spot of good fortune.
Either way, Southampton are on fire at the moment and if they keep it up could see themselves with a now not so optimistic top six or even four finish.
From a neutral point of view it is good to see one of the outsiders doing so well and challenge the bigger teams for a top place in the league and let their presence be felt. Let’s see where they get and wherever they end up I’m sure it’s a period in the clubs history they won’t forget in a hurry.
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