This has been another similar season for Southampton as they not only lost out on players such as Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama but their manager, Ronald Koeman, also headed out and joined Everton for next season.
New manager Claude Puel already has a tough job of keeping the Saints in the Premier League this season and he will have to do it without a couple of his best players. Even Graziano Pelle left the club for China, so the job will certainly test his skills of being one of the managers who can work with a tight budget, yet ensure the club finish decently.
They still have money to spend though and it would not be a surprise if they do sign a few more players before the end of this window.
Some of their targets are a little unrealistic and even though they brought in Nathan Redmond, they still have to spend to survive and we look at just what the Saints could look like next season if they got the right players, well the best players that have been linked with a move to St. Mary’s.
Dream line-up for Southampton
The goalkeeping position is one which should not be touched by Claude as Fraser Forster has been doing an excellent job for the team and was one of the best keepers in the Premier League, especially after making his comeback from injury.
The right-back spot though could see a shake up as Kieran Trippier has been linked with a move to the Saints after failing to hold down a place in the Tottenham side last season. The 25-year-old would make a great replacement for Cedric Soares and give him great competition as well.
The centre-backs don’t really need a lot of touching as Jose Fonte and Virgil van Dijk formed a great pairing for the team and you should not mess around with something that is working well for the club.
Ryan Bertrand would be the first choice left-back and that should not change this season as well. The English defender has been linked with a move away from St. Mary’s but holding onto him would be the biggest test of Puel.
The centre of midfield should see the pairing of Steven Davis and Dusan Tadic, there really is no better pairing for the side even though the likes of Thomas Partey have been linked with a move to St. Mary’s.
It could be Stefano Sturaro who takes up the final place in the midfield as Puel could be going ahead with a trio in midfield and a trio in the attack. Shane Long would be the striker who gets the starting spot without any doubts and Nathan Redmond would be one of the wingers but who would be the other winger in the side?
Surprisingly it could actually be Loic Remy, yes the former Newcastle striker didn’t have the best of times at Chelsea but he can still do a decent job and a move to the Saints would certainly give them a good option to have next season as well as quality in the front line.
Realistic line-up for Southampton
The major difference in the back four would be the fact that Trippier would not be in the side and it would be Soares who starts in his place.
The midfield too would not see someone like a Sturaro and Puel could stick with Tadic and Davis with Redmond on one side of the midfield and Jay Rodriguez on the other. The strikers though would have to be Shane Long, who is the one player that can get goals for the club.
The other striker who should be playing alongside Long should be Charlie Austin as the side don’t really have a lot of options up top. One thing is a certainty, the club will be looking to sign a few more players before the end of the season and it should come as no surprise seeing as to how thin they are in certain positions and how they really need to revamp the side before the start of next season.