After a less than impressive second half of the 2020/21 campaign which saw Southampton collapse after an impressive start to the campaign, plenty of signings will be required if Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are to improve next season.
Full-back will be the main priority for the Austrian manager this summer after the departure of Ryan Bertrand, whilst reinforcements on the wing and up front may also be required if the Saints want to push on.
Injuries played their part last season and in the absence of Danny Ings, Kyle Walker-Peters, Jannik Vestergaard and Oriol Romeu at various points in the season, the South Coast side struggled, so you could definitely argue that they need to add more first-team ready options to their side this summer.
Here’s how Football FanCast predicts Southampton’s strongest XI could look next season after Martin Semmens and the manager have concluded their business…
Despite links to Freddie Woodman and Thomas Strakosha, Hasenhuttl has suggested that Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster will remain as the two main goalkeeping options next season, with the former perhaps more likely to start as he is stronger with his feet.
Romain Perraud is looking likely to be the man to replace Bertrand at left-back, with the Brest defender seemingly on the brink of making the switch to St Mary’s.
Despite an impressive end to the campaign, Mohammed Salisu will likely provide back-up to Jannik Vestergaard and Jan Bednarek at centre-back, whilst Marc Guehi could also join on loan from Chelsea to compete at the heart of Hasenhuttl’s defence.
Kyle Walker-Peters is almost nailed on to start at right-back after an excellent first full campaign as a Southampton player, although Brandon Williams could challenge both him and Perraud for game time at full-back should he join from Manchester United.
Stuart Armstrong, Romeu and James Ward-Prowse are all likely to keep their place in midfield, should Southampton be able to see off interest from Aston Villa in their influential captain, but left-midfield is certainly an area in which the Saints can improve.
Both Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond disappointed there last season so Bournemouth winger Arnaut Danjuma could arrive as an upgrade after his superb season in the Championship, with Djenepo perhaps likely to be axed amid reported interest from Fenerbahce.
Finally, Danny Ings and Che Adams will continue their partnership up front unless Southampton receive an offer for the former Liverpool man which they cannot refuse, although Daryl Dike or Randal Kolo Muani could potentially arrive as backup.
Should they keep hold of their keep players and make key improvements to the squad, Southampton should avoid being dragged into a relegation fight again next season.
And, in other news… Southampton signing “exciting” talent could allow Hasenhuttl to axe “weak link”