The Saints have spent big once again this summer as they look to continue their climb up English football following a 14th-place finish last season. A club record transfer fee of £12.5million was forked out for Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama while a reported £8.5m was paid to Lyon for the services of defender Dejan Lovren. The transfers represent the ambition at St Mary's, with a push for European football being targeted this season. There has been brief speculation around the future of the likes of Rickie Lambert and Gaston Ramirez.
Mauricio Pochettino has now had seven months to settle in to life in the Premier League since controversially succeeding Nigel Adkins in January. The Argentine still has a number of critics to answer to this season and his big-money signings this summer mean the performance of his side is likely to come under much scrutiny. The language barrier could be seen to have been an issue in the early stages of his tenure but this seems to be gradually becoming less of a problem as the 42-year-old's grasp of English improves.
Ins and Outs
- Dejan Lovren - £8.5m
- Victor Wanyama - £12.5m
- Vegard Forren - Undisclosed
- Sam Hoskins - Free
- Steve de Ridder - Free
The 22-year-old carries the weight of being Southampton's record signing upon his shoulders and he will be looking to make his mark in England's top-flight.
The new England hero wasted no time in adapting to life in the top flight, netting 15 times last season, including impressive strikes against Manchester United and Chelsea.
The new defensive arrival from Lyon caught the eye during his three-year spell in Ligue 1, so much so that Liverpool were believed to have been keen on his signature this summer.
Strengths & Weaknesses
With the new additions this summer, Southampton appear to be building an exciting squad capable of challenging some of the Premier League's finest. They have a dependable natural goalscorer in Lambert but, other than Jay Rodriguez, they lack options upfront. Youngsters James Ward-Prowse and Luke Shaw burst onto the scene last season and they will only continue to improve, as will last summer's big coup, Gaston Ramirez, who showed glimpses of what he is capable of during his debut campaign. Defence was a concern last season but the arrival of Lovren, coupled with the protection that Wanyama should ease those fears.
Southampton's summer signings have been a huge statement of intent that they plan to try and shake things up again this season. Despite the large price-tags, the purchases of Wanyama and Lovren both appear to be smart buys for Pochettino. Another striker to partner Lambert upfront could still be on their shopping list, as could a new goalkeeper, so it would hardly be surprising if the Saints were to break the bank again before the transfer window shuts.
"I don't pay anything which is not justified, so whatever the fee is, whatever the topic is, everything you pay needs to be justified and if you can't justify it, I'm not prepared to pay anything."
"The spirit in this team is fantastic. I've never been in a group as good as this one, and it's wonderful to be a part of this team."
Facts and Figures
Kelvin Davis saved both of the penalties he faced in 2012/13's Premier League
Morgan Schneiderlin made more tackles than any 2012/13 PL player
Southampton attempted a league-high number of tackles last season
Southampton lost a league-high number of points from winning positions
No player scored more goals inside the six-yard box than Rickie Lambert
Everyone was a little bit dismayed by the sacking of Nigel Adkins after the job that he had done at Southampton. However, Pochettino has probably stepped things up a level. I think the performances improved under him, they looked a far more aggressive side and played more on the front foot. I would expect them to improve again this season and I do not think they wil be in any danger of going down, I really do not.