Ronald Koeman
Koeman's blossoming side needs strengthening if he is serious about Europe.Getty

European football comes to Southampton next season for the first time in 12 years. While other clubs give the bare minimum to the Europa League, Saints boss Ronald Koeman sees it as a wonderful opportunity for his players and himself to impress outside of the Premier League.

But in order to avoid the fate that has befallen other sides who have attempted to spread themselves across both competitions, the Dutchman will need to show the same nous he demonstrated in last year's transfer window.

Business so far

While doing our very best to avoid the 'he is like a new signing' spiel, Jay Rodriguez signing a new four-year contract at St Mary's ahead of his return from long-term injury acted as a fairly decent start to the club's summer.

Outgoings include the forgotten figures of Artur Boruc – who spent the season on-loan at Bournemouth – and Jos Hooiveld, who have not had their contracts renewed. Cody Cropper, Omar Rowe, Jake Sinclair and Chris Johns are also among those released.

What they need

A goalkeeper. The predicted length of Fraser Forster's spell on the sidelines has fluctuated from four months to a year. Southampton simply cannot risk starting their long campaign without an able deputy.

Koeman would appear intent on making Southampton a genuine challenger in the Europa League and – with that tournament beginning in late July – they will need numbers to ensure their league progress is not hamstrung in the process. It was their lack of depth that saw their 2014-15 campaign lose its momentum, so more bodies are a must.

Fraser Forster
Forster's return date still unknown.Getty

Graziano Pelle's 16 goal haul in his first season in English football is not to be sniffed at, but his prolonged goal droughts, along with Shane Long's paltry offering of seven goals, suggest more firepower is needed.

Elsewhere, it very much depends on who they allow to leave. Potential replacements for Nathaniel Clyne, Morgan Schneiderlin and possibly Toby Alderweireld will be top of the agenda. But as Koeman and the club demonstrated last summer, the club's strategy in finding and acquiring new faces is some of the best in the league.

Who could join

Koeman has already identified Feyenoord's Jordy Clasie as a possible replacement for Schneiderlin. Another candidate for that role could be Lille's Idrissa Gueye, with the Senegalese recently admitting a move to England would be hard to turn down.

The relegated duo of Burnley's Kieran Tripper and QPR's Charlie Austin are unlikely to be short of offers to return to the top flight, with the Saints reportedly among those interested.

Potentially joining Clasie in the Dutch recruitment drive are Celtic's Virgil van Dijk and Wolfsburg's superbly named Bas Dost, although Wolfsburg's qualification for next season's Champions League may have already put rumours over the latter to bed.

Jordy Clasie
Koeman wants Clasie to come in if (probably more of a case of when) Schneiderlin leavesGetty

Who could leave

Southampton are still awaiting Clyne's contract decision, with Liverpool and Manchester United lurking, but Schneiderlin's want for Champions League football surely signals an end to his stay at the club. Saints have the option to make Alderweireld's loan stay permanent for a reported £7m, but his parent club Atletico Madrid can override that by paying an additional fee of £1.5m to remove the clause. Reports suggest the Spanish giants could use the Belgium international to entice Chelsea into a deal to return Filipe Luis to the Vicente Calderon.

What the manager has said

"I don't think it will be the same changes in the club that we had last season.

"It's still quiet regarding all the players, there has not been one serious bid on the table. It's all about rumours in the press, but nobody, no club, has knocked on the door with questions.

"Of course, it's maybe too early. Everybody is waiting until the end of the season to make decisions about players and transfers and we will wait, but normally, it will be a more quiet summer than last year."