Are Southampton on the verge of another heroic campaign?

For Saints fans it will be an all to familiar story; the summer transfer window opens and they lose their best players and even their manager last year.

This is exactly what has happened in the last couple of summers. The Saints have sold Morgan Schneiderlin, Nathaniel Clyne, Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana in the last two summer windows.

However, despite the mass exodus on the south coast last year, and a with new manager arriving without Premier League experience, the Saints managed to build on their impressive season under former boss Mauricio Pochettino and challenged strongly for Champions League football against all odds.

So the question is, can Koeman shake off the high profile departures once more, or will the most recent sales prove too much for the Saints to prosper in their absence?

The Saints have lost a key cog to their midfield in the shape of Schneiderlin, who set the tone down on the south coast with his high energy, strong pressing and neat and tidy passing range.

He was an integral part to Koeman’s side and the way the Saints played. They did indeed miss him when he was out of the side, losing just six games when he was in the team compared to eight when he wasn’t. The loss percentage went from 25% with, to 57% without.

Those figures alone show you he was sorely missed at times last season. Of course, the Saints now have Jordy Clasie to fill Schneiderlin’s role, but the diminutive midfielder has big boots to fill.

The midfield will see some change but it is in defence where the Saints will have the most changes, as two of their successful back four are no longer at the club. Clyne and Alderweireld have left for pastures new and it was the Saints’ defensive reliability that was the cornerstone for their success under Koeman last┬áterm.

Having to rebuild an area of the team that kept 15 clean sheets last season will be a worry for the Dutchman, as disrupting a defence can ruin its entire balance.

Cedric Soares will have a difficult task in successfully replacing Clyne, who made more tackles than any other Premier League defender last season.

However, making do without Alderweireld, who has joined Spurs, will be a far harder task. The Belgium international did not make a single error last season and was amongst the best passing defenders in the league, which added a new dimension to the way Koeman’s side played.

But whether the former Ajax man can find the right partner for the ever impressive Jose Fonte is a question only he can answer.

Whilst the defence is unsettled, things in the final third are improving. Juanmi has already impressed in pre-season following his move from Malaga, and Koeman will be hoping he can help strengthen the attacking options of Mane, Tadic and Pelle – all of whom big success stories of last season.

That trio, alongside the return of Gaston Ramirez, the Saints wille have plenty of options going forward to utilise next term.

Nevertheless, few will be predicting relegation for the Saints. How well this summer rebuilding goes we do not know yet, but if last summer is anything to go by the rebuilding process will leave Koeman’s men in good stead for another solid season.