An eye on next season
Eight points clear of the bottom three with just four games to go, Southampton are (thankfully) sitting comfortably in 12th place and, whilst they aren't mathematically safe yet, the set of circumstances that would have to occur for them to be relegated are becoming more extreme with each passing game.
April 25th, 2013
It’s certainly a welcome position for Saints fans to find themselves in – considering that they were bottom of the league with only 3 points in November – and for many supporters who were preparing for a dog fight that went right to the final game of the season.
Since the turn of the year, Adam Lallana, Artur Boruc, Rickie Lambert, Kelvin Davis, Jason Puncheon, Morgan Schneiderlin and Luke Shaw have all signed contract extensions with the club, as Southampton look to secure their best assets ahead of another season of top-flight football. It is vital that the key members of the team are kept together if the club is to push on from the foundations that have been set this season.
The summer promises to be a very busy time for the Saints, not only for bringing new players in but for clearing out the fringe players within the squad as well. It would be safe to say that those fringe players (some of whom have been on loan at Championship teams this season) were being kept on the books in case Southampton were unable to survive their first season back in the Premier League. Whilst achieving back-to-back promotions is a fantastic achievement, the squad as a whole lacks quality outside of the starting eleven.
Saints fans will be eager to see whether Mauricio Pochettino will look to his La Liga contacts for some bargain buys, after the success Swansea saw with the signing of Michu – without doubt the signing of the season. And, whilst it’s important not to disrupt the chemistry between the current squad of players, I expect Southampton to bring in a fair few new faces to replace the ones that will be moving on.
As long as the players that we sign add to the quality that is already within the current crop of players, there is no reason why Saints can’t break in to the top ten (and stay there) next season!