Southampton FC has always been a selling club.
For as long as I have supported them, we have watched on as our best players were sold when clubs higher up the food chain came circling for them.
More recently sold players would make one hell of a team in my mind.
Nathaniel Clyne, Toby Alderweireld, Virgil Van Dyke, Luke Shaw
Dejan Lovren as more than adequate cover.
Sadio Mane, Victor Wanyama, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Morgan Schneiderlin, Adam Lallana
When I look at those names it is heartbreaking to see what we had.
Especially when you look at where we find ourselves in the Premier League this season.
We still have our Academy, which continues to produce promising potential for the future, so having spent without a lot of success in the last few seasons, hopefully that will continue to see us in a better overall light and we can again reap the benefits from rebuilding a more solid basis in the years to come.
It’s the nature of football that players will move on and everyone does ultimately have their price, irrespective of age as Southampton have discovered on more than one occasion. But it’s also true that Southampton with our growth and performances in recent years that saw us return and re-establish ourselves in the top flight are a prime pick for players to make their name and unfortunately use us as a stepping stone.
Whatever anyone thinks of an individual departure it is part of the game and something all clubs – baring a particular few – have to contend with.
The problem is Southampton have had a run of replacing those who departed with equal talent and they largely hit the ground running.
On paper today’s team, in my humble, is equal in quality to the side listed above but usually reliable players have dipped in form, new signings haven’t hit the ground running and ultimately we find ourselves where we do in the table.