Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier believes Southampton are in a better place than last season, despite seeing a number of the club’s best players sold on to bigger clubs.
The south coast outfit saw the likes of Adam Lallana, Calum Chambers, Luke Shaw and Rickie Lambert all leave the club in the summer, while boss Mauricio Pochettino left to take up the vacant role at Tottenham.
But incoming manager Ronald Koeman has spent wisely in the summer, bringing in replacements in the shape of Fraser Forster, Dusan Tadic, Grazianno Pelle, Toby Alderweireld and Sadio Mane, which in turn has helped them enjoy a strong start to the season that currently sees them occupy second spot in the Premier League manager.
And Le Tissier admits that, although it was a disappointment to see the aforementioned players leave St. Mary’s, it has in fact had a positive effect on the team.
He exclusively told FootballFanCast.com: “Everybody has to make their own decision but obviously as a Southampton fan I was disappointmened that they left.
“I think some of them left in a better manner than others and when you see players and the lengths they try and go to to force moves away, using social media and all that stuff, I completely disagree with that.
“But they have moved on. The football club has moved on. We’ve replaced them with some decent players and had a pretty good start to the season. So as a Southampton fan, the squad that we have at the moment is possibly stronger than what we had last season.”
The Saints were also close to losing Morgan Schneiderlin, who was one of those who took to social network website Twitter to express his anger at not being able to leave the club with the rest of his team mates.
But they managed to fight off interest from both Arsenal and Tottenham to convince him to remain at the club, and are now reaping the rewards after seeing the Frenchman net three times in the opening six games of the season.
And Le Tissier believes that keeping Schneiderlin at the club has played a huge part in the Saints’ early successes, although he doesn’t blame the midfielder for showing his frustration during the summer transfer window.
“Morgan was certainly one of our best players last season and even for the last couple of seasons that we’ve been back in the Premier League,” he added.
“I think that he was a little disillusioned with what was going on, which is understandable given that he saw four or five of his teammates disappear. Perhaps he thought the ambition of the club was not matching his?
“But with the signings that we have made and the fact he saw money being reinvested back in to the team and it wasn’t a case of somebody coming and asset stripping the football club, he probably saw that we’re not too different a team to what we were last season and he’s knuckled down and put in some brilliant performances in the first few games of the season.”
Matt Le Tissier was speaking exclusively to FootballFanCast.com in his role as an ambassador for Freebets.com, a leading online sports betting service. Get an exclusive £50 free bet from William Hill at http://www.freebets.com/offers/freebets/william-hill.