Mohammed Salisu (def) Real Valladolid; Kyle Walker-Peters (def) Tottenham – loan made permanent; Fraser Forster (gk) Celtic – end of loan; Wesley Hoedt (def) Antwerp – end of loan; Mario Lemina (mid) Galatasaray – end of loan; Josh Sims (mid) NY Red Bull – end of loan; Guido Carrillo (att) Leganes – end of loan;
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (r) (mid) Tottenham; Cedric Soares (r) (def) Arsenal – loan made permanent; Maya Yoshida (sp) (def) Sampdoria – loan made permanent; Kevin Danso (sp) (def) Augsburg – end of loan; Harrison Reed (mid) Southampton – loan made permanent; Mario Lemina (sp) (mid) Southampton – on loan;
Southampton had season of two halves last term. They reached bitter low in early November, when trashed 1:9 at home by Leicester, but keeping faith in their coach and the group of players proved decisive for the impressive revival from December onwards that eventually led to a pretty respectable final position. Come the end of the campaign Hasenhuttl had his players playing some really exciting football and the goal is to keep developing this Dortmund-style tactics that seem to be suiting the Saints.
So far, during the off-season strengthening of the defence has been the priority. Added centre-back Salisu to the ranks and also signed full-back Walker-Peters permanently. Lost Cedric and Hojbjerg, though, and expected to seek reinforcements in midfield before the transfer window closes in October.
Coach Hasenhuttl will continue to use counter-pressing and very direct forward passing when in possession as main tactics. This worked pretty well for Southampton in 2020. New captain Ward-Prowse will have key role in midfield this season.
The efficiency of the forward line is amongst the main strengths of the team, with Ings reborn and capable of another 20+ goals campaign. Southampton are expected to be scoring even more goals with Adams likely to be much more effective in attack after his maiden top flight season finished with positive displays.
The main weakness right now is the lack of depth in the midfield, which could be easily addressed, though, with just 1-2 new signings. Also, Southampton lack depth which, in a shortened and heavily congested season as the one coming, is always risky if injuries hit the squad.
Securing top 10 finish is the goal and even if they fail the Saints should have more than enough in themselves to exist away from danger zone.