Transition of a new Southampton team will soon unfold as the star exodus continues, with Morgan Schneiderlin and Calum Chambers next in line to leave the club. The saints will need to be busy in this transfer window, if they want to stand any chance of superseding their impressive 8th place finish last season, or to even have enough players before the league kicks off on August 16.
The saints are notorious for developing their own set of superstars, a philosophy that is admired by many football neutrals on the global stage. However due to financial restrictions, in recent years the club have failed to keep hold of their star players, subsequently leading to other top premier League clubs to strengthen. Southampton are known to do their football business the right way, mainly due to developing players from the academy and putting them into the first team, rather than just splashing money on proven talent. Unfortunately though, doing things the right way in a football context does not seem to always pay off and instead lead to consequences. In recent times, the saints have been forced into selling the likes of Theo Walcott, Oxlade Chamberlain and Gareth Bale; all of who have made their individual contributions amongst Europe’s elite. It was only last season, when Gareth Bale scored the all, important goal against Athletico Madrid in the champions league final, repaying his hefty price tag of £86 million.
Another highlight was Oxlade Chamberlain tearing apart Bayern Munich’s defensive unit, including making several direct runs at World-cup winner and Germany & Munich’s Captain, Philipp Lahm, who struggled to keep up with the ‘Ox’ despite being considered the best full back in the world, and currently impressing in his new anchorman role.
Despite the overhaul of players this summer window, many of Southampton’s talents are of English origin thus their transfer valuation are massively inflated, only causing Southampton to benefit financially. Having said this, whether they can attract the top players is another question, with neither champions league or Europa league football in-sight or any real sign of ambition for silverware.
Signing several players to replace the club’s star performers will be an uphill task, especially when so many clubs are targeting the same players. Southampton may need to look towards their famous and trusted academy to once again find another young talent to take the premiership by storm. So far, their status of a ‘selling club’ remains evident and it seems their young talents are all aspiring moves to a ‘top 4’ team, with Champions League football on offer and the opportunity to challenge for the Premier League all too much to resist. The saints must act immediately in response to the recent transfer dilemmas, and not just buy players for the sake of numbers but adding much needed quality.