Grading Southampton's summer transfer window
Southampton had a quiet deadline day, but they will come out of the summer feeling relatively pleased with their business. They brought in four players and saw a number of squad players depart, as Mauricio Pellegrino starts to mould his squad. Despite Virgil van Dijk and Ryan Bertrand being linked with a move away, they managed to keep both at the club, which was a huge coup for them and showed their ambition to succeed this season.
The first signing was Jan Bednarek is definitely one for the future, as he is a highly-rated centre-back. At the time, many suggested he was a replacement for Van Dijk, but that isn’t the case. He will be allowed to develop away from the first-team. Mario Lemina was the biggest signing made, as he arrived from Juventus for £15 million. He will be a great addition and has the potential to be sold on for a big profit.
Wesley Hoedt has arrived from Lazio and will provide real competition for places in the defence. If Van Dijk had left, he would have been seen as a starter, but he may have to settle for a place on the bench.
The biggest departure was Jay Rodriguez, who joined West Brom for £12 million. Supporters were sad to see him go, but it was probably the right decision as his career had stalled on the South Coast. A handful of other first-team players left in Martin Caceres, Cuco Martina, Jordy Clasie and Paulo Gazzaniga.
What they missed out on?
Supporters would have hoped for one or two more additions. There are doubts about Fraser Forster as he has been less impressive during the last 12 months, but the club do come out of the transfer window as a stronger team. The best piece of business was keeping Van Dijk and Bertrand. Their defence was good last season and it would have been significantly weakened if they both departed. Unlike previous summers, the club stood strong when bigger clubs came calling and they deserve credit for that.
Grade – B
They have had a good window and they will be seen as one of the best of the rest again. The addition of Lemina should make them more dynamic in the centre of the park, but the best business was keeping Van Dijk. He was linked with a move away all summer, but the club have kept him until January at the earliest. The Dutchman is one of the best defenders in the league and will be a huge presence at Southampton this season. If they had made one more big-name addition, it would have made it a near-perfect window, but they will be happy with the result as it stands.