Football writer Daniel Storey posted a study on Twitter on Tuesday that revealed Southampton have the eighth-most valuable team in the Premier League this season when you look at the transfer fees paid for their 10 most regular starters.
Just for the ‘why not do it in rank order’ Ultras. pic.twitter.com/OQ0Z134ICD
— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) April 16, 2019
While Saints have received their fair share of money for the likes of Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk in recent years, they have also been splashing out on new signings themselves.
Jannik Vestergaard, Mario Lemina, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Guido Carrillo, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Sofiane Boufal are just a selection of the big-money additions that have arrived at St Mary’s in the previous few seasons, and the latter trio won’t even have been included in this study.
There is no doubt that the south coast outfit were underachieving under both Mauricio Pellegrino and Mark Hughes, and they only had nine points to their name this season when Ralph Hasenhuttl took the reins at the beginning of December.
The Austrian’s arrival has sparked a huge upturn in form for Southampton, who have taken 27 points from 18 top flight matches since.
Now five points above the drop zone the former RB Leipzig coach has probably been labelled as a miracle worker by some, but these latest findings suggest that isn’t actually the case.
Considering the value of some of their regular starters compared to other clubs in the Premier League, Saints’ form in recent months is exactly what it should have been throughout the entire campaign.
In short, the improvement shown should have been the minimum requirement considering the players the 51-year-old has had available to him.
Of course he still deserves plenty of plaudits though, because what a study like this doesn’t take into consideration is the fact that Hasenhuttl took charge of a squad shot of confidence who had forgotten how to play effective, attacking football.
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He has transformed them in that respect, but he has also good resources to work with when you see the transfer fees paid for some of the individuals he is working closely with.
The aim next season, should they preserve their Premier League status, will surely be to aim for a seventh-place finish.