Football Season Guide



Jay Rodriguez (forward)(Burnley), Paulo Gazzaniga (goalkeeper)(Gillingham), Steven Davis (midfielder)(Rangers), Nathaniel Clyne (defender)(Crystal Palace)


Dan Harding (forward)(Nottingham Forest), Bartosz Bialkowski (goalkeeper)(Notts County), Lee Holmes (forward)(Preston North End), Ryan Doble (forward)(Shrewsbury), David Connolly (forward)(released); Radhi Jaidi (defender)(retired), Aaron Martin (defender)

Southampton return to the top flight this season for the first time since 2005. With inventive manager Neil Adkins at the helm, they have gone up two divisions iin the past two seasons and look forward to continued success, this time at the higher level. The Saints looked to be running away with the Championship title last season, only to be pipped to the post by Reading but it was enough to secure a return to the higher echelon of English football. Nigel Adkins has managed for now to retain most of his key players this summer while buying wisely on the transfer market. He has brought in striker Jay Rodriguez, who will aim to prove himself at the top level after inflicting some serious damage on Championship defences last term at Burnley. Rodriguez should form a useful partnership with last season's top scorer in the Championship Rickie Lambert. Adam Lallana and Guly Do Prado look favourite to occupy the offensive midfield roles while former Rangers captain Steven Davis will bring his experience to the midfied order to marshall the up and coming Jack Cork, Richard Chaplow and Steve De Ridder. James Ward-Prowse is also an exciting prospect in midfield. While the forward roles look well staffed, the defence will be an area of concern since it features no player yet proven at this level. Goalkeeper Paulo Gazzinaga comes in for Bartosz Bialkowski while England Under 21 right back Nathaniel Clyde is also in from Crystal Palace but a couple of signings wouldn't go amiss to provide alternatives for Jose Fonte and Jos Hooivelt at center backs. Danny Fox should remain first choice on the left hand side of defence.


The Saints return to the top flight full of confidence after back to back promotions but will need a stronger defence to make the grade. They will certainly cause most clubs problems with their attacking intent. A finish between 10th and 15th place would be a good achievement before settling back in the top flight.