I cannot remember a time when a club, who had not been relegated, has sold so many of its best players as Southampton have done this summer.
So far Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers and Dejan Lovren have all left St Mary while striker Dani Osvaldo has reportedly agreed personal terms with Inter Milan ahead of that impending move and Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez also targets of other Premier League clubs. In total, Southampton have received around £100 million in transfer fees this summer.
While Osvaldo was a bust for the Saints last season, the other players were all key contributors in a Southampton side that that achieved their highest ever finish in the Premier League. But with less than three weeks until the new season begins Southampton look like relegation certainties.
Saints executive director Les Reed though is adamant that the club will be successful next season saying:
“Our position remains unchanged in that we are determined to keep our best young players at the club, as is evidenced by the decision to award Harrison Reed a new long-term contract last week, adding to the list of committed young professionals like James Ward Prowse, Sam Gallagher, Jack Stephens, Jordan Turnbull, Matt Targett, Sam McQueen and others who have seen plenty of first-team activity recently.
“We have an abundance of talent in the academy coming through, and everybody at the club is continuing to work hard on bringing in quality new players as we build a team capable of taking us further forward in the coming seasons.
“It is important in the transfer window to remain calm, resilient and above all patient. We have targets, and we are working hard to get them across the line.”
The problem for Reed and Saints boss Ronald Koeman is that they need to surround these young players will experience. And at the moment that experience is fleeing what they see as a sinkig ship.