Southampton endured a difficult season in the Premier League last term and need to be active in the market this summer to bolster their ranks.
A turbulent campaign saw the Saints finish 17th, just three points above the relegation zone, which represents a huge decline in the past two seasons where Europa League football was secured.
Mark Hughes was a controversial appointment last term but he managed to steady the ship on the south coast and he now needs to utilise Southampton’s impressive strategy in the market, which has seen the Saints secure a number of bargain deals.
Southampton need to do the same again this summer, although they may be forced to spend big for some targets due to the rise in market prices.
“It’s important fresh faces come in. It’s not necessarily deliberate but as a consequence of players moving on, contracts finishing. There’s an opportunity to bring players in. There’s always a churn at the end of the year.”
Jack Butland – Stoke City
Relegated with Stoke City last term, England international Jack Butland needs to be back in the Premier League if he is to knock Jordan Pickford off his perch as number one for the Three Lions.
While he has been linked with Chelsea and Liverpool, Southampton could be the ideal fit.
Now 25, Butland has plenty of years ahead of him and could enter the prime years of his career on the south coast – and a deal would suit Southampton’s transfer strategy as he would present tremendous sell-on value in the future.
There is no doubt that Butland will end up at a ‘big’ club eventually but Southampton should be the next step on his quest for stardom.
Marlon Santos – Barcelona
With West Ham seemingly ending their pursuit of Marlon Santos, Southampton have been left as the frontrunners to secure the services of the Barcelona outcast as they look to find a replacement for Virgil Van Dijk following his January switch to Liverpool.
Sport state the deal for the 22-year-old Brazil defender will cost just €13 million (£10.6m) and that presents another opportunity for Southampton to continue to earn financial stability by purchasing relatively low before selling for a high price.
After a successful stint on-loan in Ligue 1 with OGC Nice, Southampton would be wise to tempt Santos to switch the French Riviera for Hampshire.
Andrea Petagna – Atlanta
It is no secret that Southampton desperately need a new striker and it seems the man they have in their sights is Italy forward Andrea Petagna, although Tuttomercatoweb claim newly-promoted Wolves also have the same idea.
Just 23, Petagna is another player who can be developed at St. Mary’s following a campaign where he scored six goals and contributed a further seven assists in Serie A for Atalanta. Already capped once by Italy in 2017, he could become a regular for his nation in the future.
Reportedly available for a measly sum of just £9m, Petagna could be the final piece to the puzzle in Southampton’s rejuvenated attacking line following the £16 million capture of Mohamed Elyounoussi.