The rise of Southampton just goes on and on. Whenever people seem to doubt them they seem to come up with the most emphatic shows of defiance and continuing to set new highs in the Premier League, led by the magnificent Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman was not expected to improve on the seventh position and 60 points he achieved in 2014-15, but the Saints finished the 2015/16 Premier League season in a record sixth position having, for the second season running, achieved a record points total of 63.
Southampton grew as the season went on though, with Ronald Koeman keeping his players steady, focused and free-scoring. The Saints only failed to score in nine Premier League games all season, and are the only team in the Premier League to have three players score more than ten goals this season. Crystal Palace losing the FA Cup final ensures that Southampton are guaranteed a free passage straight into the Europa League group stages for 2016/17. A massive achievement for the players, staff and the fans.
Koeman however decided to join Everton but to the disgust of the Saints fans, in his place the club have brought in Claude Puel from Nice. Puel will come in under slight expectation, given the excellent last season Soutampton had. With the new TV deal getting activated this summer and the money cming in from the Sadio Mane sale, he will have the financial power to get the necessary reinforcements in, who can add quality to the squad and help Southampton develop.
If you had to sum up Depoitre in a way that Southampton fans could understand it would need a simple explanation; Graziano Pelle mould. The Italian himself is expected to move on this summer, and Depoitre gives the team the perfect replacement. The Gent forward has goalscoring experience in the Champions League, and would provide good advice to the youngsters compete regularly in European club football.
The young midfielder from Anderlecht will move to one of Europe’s top league at some point in the near future, The Belgian midfielder would prefer a move to Sevilla, but would settle for a Southampton move if the two clubs agree a deal. The Belgian international is highly rated in Europe. He is a neat and intelligent attacking midfielder, with good close control and excellent technique and vision.
Sadio Mane has already moved to Liverpool from the south coast and he might be closely followed by Pelle. The Italian striker is set to leave Southampton this summer with Antonio Conte’s Chelsea among the clubs considering a move for the 30-year-old. There are no plans at Southampton to offer a new contract to him, which will leave only a year on his contract.
Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk came to the Premier League at the start of the 2015/16 season and didn’t take long to settle in and become one of the league’s top defenders. He also possesses an attacking threat and finished the season with 3 goals. He has been heavily linked with a move to Everton following former boss Koeman’s arrival at Goodison Park, however Clubs like Arsenal are also in the market for a top defender and Van Dijik fits the bill perfectly.