Ronald Koeman and Shane Long
Ronald Koeman will be hoping Shane Long can lead Southampton up the Premier League Getty

Last season

Premier League: Eighth

FA Cup: Fifth round

League Cup: Fourth round

Top scorer: Jay Rodriguez (17)

Summer's work

The door hinges at Southampton have well and truly been put to the test this summer after the south coast club was plundered of its top talent. First of all it was striker Rickie Lambert, who beat Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren up the M6 to Liverpool, for a sliver of the £49m Saints have received from Brendan Rodgers' side this summer. Manchester United also got in on the act by poaching Luke Shaw, while Arsenal could not resist getting their paws on Southampton's finest by snapping up Calum Chambers. Disruptive club-record signing Dani Osvaldo lasted one season at the Saints before being shipped out to Inter Milan on loan. Coming through the door to a no-doubt welcoming Ronald Koeman have been Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster, defenders Ryan Bertrand and Florin Gardos and £10.5m striker Shane Long. Koeman also recruited Feyenoord's Graziano Pelle, with whom he used to work at the Dutch club. However, with Morgan Schneiderlin reportedly pushing for a move to Tottenham Hotspur and the same club being linked with Jay Rodriguez, Koeman might want to lock those doors up now.

Manager – Ronald Koeman

Louis van Gaal is not the only Dutchman making his Premier League managerial debut this season and Ronald Koeman will be hoping to have a similar galvanising effect as his compatriot has at Manchester United. Boy, do Southampton need it. Koeman the manager does not have the silverware of Koeman the player, but trophies at Ajax, Benfica, PSV and Valencia are evidence of a manager whose pedigree should earn him time to build the side he wants.

Key player – Shane Long

The Irishman's instinctiveness means he has always been earmarked as a potential goal machine. But the 27-year-old has never scored more than 10 league goals in a Premier League season for either Reading, West Brom or during his brief stint at Hull. Now with a £10.5m price tag on his head, Long will be expected to break that duck and go on to score more than 15 goals in the stripes of Saints. If Koeman fends off Spurs' intererst in Rodriguez, the Englishman's partnership with Long could be one to watch.


The honeymoon is over and Southampton's eighth-place finish last season under Mauricio Pochettino is likely to seem a distant memory come the end of the season. Koeman lost his best player in Adam Lallana and it remains to be seen if Serbian Dusan Tadic can have anywhere near the same effect as the England international. A graduate of Johan Cruyff, Koeman will set his side out to play a typically Dutch brand of football but they will also have to learn to fight hard-fought 1-0s.

Prediction – 11th

Convincing Schneiderlin and Rodriguez to stay at Southampton remains a huge task, but if they do, Saints could mitigate the losses they have suffered this summer.