It has been a turbulent time recently for Saint’s fans, with very few arrivals and at the same time an ominous amount of departures. Some would go as far to say a mass exodus is currently in the process at the St Mary’s stadium. With the likes of Shaw, Lallana and Lambert all gone on to bigger and possibly better things, most Southampton fans are in a conundrum, is it seen as good financial business or the loss of core parts of a side which was so successful in the previous Barclays Premier League season.
Furthermore it seems that the imminent departures are not going to stop there. Dejan Lovren is destined to go to Liverpool alongside Lallana and Lambert; additionally Callum Chambers after his breakthrough year seems to have been courted by Arsenal for a fee believed to be in the region of £16m. Add together all the outgoings and it’s close to £100m brought in to the Saints ranks which on paper looks fantastic business, but Saints fans may be sceptical about the season ahead, consolidation in the Premier League must be the Saints priority in order to regroup and not drop into the wilderness as they did recently. Nigel Adkins was the man who brought Southampton up through the football league and back to where they believe they belong. Adkins was unlucky in many people’s eyes to be relieved of his duties. However the role Maurico Pochettino played in developing a Saints team which was very young was nothing short than remarkable, all of the players bought into his ethos/methods and the relationship he had with Nicola Cortese was a positive one.
However cracks started to appear behind the scenes and when Cortese left in January it could have possibly triggered other outgoings, Pochettino stayed committed until the end of the season, but at the same time was muted on his long term future to the Saints project. Tottenham made it very public that Pochettino was the man they wanted to move them forward, Southampton had no choice but to reluctantly let him enter into talks and at that moment there was no looking back from Pochettino. With Cortese and Pochettino both leaving the club in the space of 6 months, a lot of the key players sensed that the club maybe entering into a transitional period. Now at the helm is Dutchman Ronald Koeman who has the flare and know how to tackle this task, his first assignment will be to ensure that no more key players leave Southampton, Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin have been constantly rumoured with moves away from the St Mary’s stadium.
If Koeman can keep the remaining stars and use some of the money that has been generated on worthy replacements, then this summer might start to become easier to digest for some of the Saints fans. One area that Koeman will not have to improve is the Saints youth system, which has a fine résumé of producing young talent players such as Bale, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain. With the likes of Ward-Prowse, Gallagher, McQueen, Reed and Isgrove all likely to take the next step all might not be doom and gloom for Southampton FC.