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 Posted by Chris Rann
Sep 3, 2014

How did Southampton do in the window?

A look at some of football's biggest transfers during the 2014 summer transfer window.

Ins and Outs

Players in: Dusan Tadic (FC Twente, £10.9m), Graziano Pelle (Feyenoord, £9m), Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea, loan), Fraser Forster (Celtic, loan), Shane Long (Hull, undisclosed), Florin Gardos (Steaua Bucharest, undisclosed), Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid, loan), Sadio Mane (Red Bull Salzburg, undisclosed).

Players out: Luke Shaw (Manchester United, £25m), Adam Lallana (£25million, Liverpool), Rickie Lambert (Liverpool, £4million), Jonathan Forte (released), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool, undisclosed), Calum Chambers (Arsenal, £16m), Danny Fox (Nottingham Forest, free), Guly do Prado (released), Billy Sharp (Leeds, undisclosed), Saphir Taider (Inter Milan, loan terminated), Jake Sinclair (Hibernian, loan), Gaston Ramirez (Hull, loan), Jos Hooiveld (Norwich, loan).

Summing up the window

It has become pretty clear over the summer that the exodus has more to do with players' egos and their desire for financial rewards than any so-called "lack of ambition" at the club. Saints have spent heavily to replace the players, and in fact are amongst the biggest spenders in European football in this window as they prepare to rebuild under a clearly ambitious Ronald Koeman.

The Dutchman has set about strengthening every area of the pitch and brought in a mixture of unknown quantities and proven Premier League players and internationals. While the St. Mary's faithful will know what to expect from the likes of Fraser Forster and Shane Long, it's Graziano Pelle and Florin Gardos who could take the division by surprise and La Liga winner Toby Alderweireld is somewhat of a coup. Dusan Tadic has had a fine start to his first ever English campaign, while persuading Morgan Schneiderlin to stay may well prove Koeman to be a genius. Rating: 8/10

Best piece of business?

In Tadic, Saints may have unearthed another gem. Already his creative spark has shone at Anfield and at St. Mary's and he will be key to the club's attacking prowess this season. A ready-made replacement for Adam Lallana, if he can transfer his level of output from the Eredivisie he could well be the bargain of the season, and dare I say it prove to be a more important player to Southampton than his predecessor.

With the price of English players spiraling out of control, to pick up someone like Tadic for just 10 million pounds is almost ridiculous. Tadic is a creator of the highest order and cheaper than British strikers are changing clubs for in the Championship. If anyone might push Tadic as Saints' best business it could be Fraser Forster. The giant keeper looks completely at ease at his new club, not putting a foot wrong thus far.

A series of savvy deals by manager Ronald Koeman has Southampton supporters excited about the 2014-15 season.
Ronaldo Koeman is building a new dynasty at St Mary's.

Worst piece of business?

As much as I don't want to personally single anyone out, many people balked at the price tag when the club brought in Long for 12 million pounds. If anyone has to justify their fee, it will be the Irishman who, although a consistently good performer at this level, has never quite coupled it with a prolific goal return. His ability to hassle defences, though, could prove the perfect foil for Pelle, and the Southampton defenders were deadly serious when they said they were now glad he is on their team.

Inflated transfer prices are what they are, and Long will prove bad business only if he doesn't make the kind of contribution to the team he is expected to. Goals will be an added bonus.

What remaining issues are there?

Saints have worked well to cover all their positions in this window, and the deadline day signings of Toby Alderweireld and Sadio Mane were the final pieces of the jigsaw in the form of a versatile defender and a pacey winger. You could argue that now the squad is stronger than at the end of last season. It certainly appears to run deeper in each position.

The big issue could be goals as there are several unproven players at Premier League level playing up top, while Shane Long is not famed for his prolific tally. This could be an unnecessary worry though with Graziano Pelle having opened his account at West Ham.

Who can help in January?

Although not exactly my cup of tea as a player, the club has clearly been pursuing Andros Townsend. His pace and directness might be welcome, and he is clearly someone Koeman is keeping track of. Right now it would appear that Spurs aren't prepared to sell him, though that might be retaliation for their failure to lure Schneiderlin from St. Mary's. Come January though, if Townsend isn't getting a look at Spurs, he might be knocking on Mr. Pochettino's door asking for directions to Southampton.

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