If there is one thing true in the Premier League it is that if you are a mid table side and overachieve you need to plan ahead. One decent season and then the big boys will chase your stars. Poor Southampton have had their young exciting Southampton side poached but ll is not doom and gloom.
Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert have joined Liverpool. Luke Shaw joins Manchester United, while even the Mauricio Pochettino leaves to become Tottenham manager. Dejan Lovren seems likely to become the third saints player moving to Anfield and even Morgan Schneiderlin is linked with a move to Arsenal. It is as if your wife left you, your boss demoted you, the car broke down, again and the dog left a mess in the front room. Things can only get better right?
To see your team ripped apart in such a short time must be pretty hard on a saints fans heart. You could have expected one maybe two of the names to leave but the idea of gradual transition has escaped the decision makers at St Marys.
However, what's done is done and the new Southampton is forming. In what appeared a sinking ship to some degree the club have brought in a big name in Ronald Koeman. The name alone has seemed to calm people and you would think he would obtain the respect of the remaining players plus attract new blood.
Steven Caulker or Ron "cement" Vlaar are linked with replacing Lovern. Two players we are very familiar with in the league. Caulker is young and yet to remove individual errors from his game. He is however one of those player we all have soft spots for, a player better in fantasy points scoring than real life performance. "cement " Ron had an outstanding World Cup and with only one year left on his contract has a high chance of moving on in the summer.
So far there have been two players signed both of which have the statistics to tempt a fantasy pick and inspire hope in real life.
Graziano Pelle - 6.5m
A Koeman man back to back seasons have provided 29 goals and 9 assists followed by 26 goals and 6 assists playing for Feyenoord. A quick check at the youtube promotional video shows a player seemingly with an all round game. Headers, left foot, outside box goals, goalmouth scrambles, penalties and a pretty smart haircut. Maybe seeing him do this in a red and white shirt persuades me he may just do a job in the league. If he adapts he becomes a really interesting pick in home games early.
Dusan Tadic - 6m
Also arriving from the dutch league Tadic brings stats to tempt you. In two seasons at FC Groningen he scored 12 goals and provided 15 assists season one, with 16 goals, 14 assist year two. Capable of playing all the roles behind the forward in a 4231 shape he will also be attracting your interest. Quick feet and the desire to be positive, plus the likelihood that he takes the kicks means a potential sleeper and if he starts fast, season keeper type. I just get this imagine of a Steven Gerrard "I'm the daddy here " type tackle early in game one knocking some of the cockyness out of him.