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EPL Preview: After Losing Five Skilled Players, Southampton Will Face Relegation

courtesy Southhampton FC Facebook Page

courtesy Southhampton FC Facebook Page

Last season, Southampton finished eighth in the Premier League, but that was when Southampton had players like Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Calum Chambers and Rickie Lambert. All five of those players mentioned have made a move to another club in the Premier League. Southampton has become a farm system for the richest clubs. The five players have totaled £92 million and have left Ronald Koeman and his squad absolutely decimated.

The gutting began when Manchester United made Southampton an offer for Shaw, and, since then, it has been a complete fire sale for the Saints. After the eighth place finish in the league, former coach Mauricio Pochettino took the Tottenham job, leaving Southampton without a manager. The front office made a move to acquire Ronald Koeman’s services, who managed the Dutch Eredivisie club, Feyenoord. Koemen was given a three-year deal which might end quicker than the front office had hoped. With the five key players gone, Southampton may face relegation at the end of the season.

Southampton still has the services of Gaston Ramirez, Morgan Schneiderlin and Dani Osvaldo, but I don’t see those three players making a significant mark for the club. Without Shaw, Lallana, Lovren, Chambers and Lambert, Southampton is no better than Burnley or Leicester City. A tough reality to face, yes, but it’s a reality that Koemen and Southampton might have to live with until more players come up from the youth squad.

The next possible transfer may be Schneiderlin, having been linked to Arsenal, but Koemen has made it clear that no more of his players are to be transferred out. One positive aspect comes out of the top players being transferred out, money. With the five transfers, Southampton will probably retain £80 million, which could be used to invest in young talent and opt for a rebuilding season. Southampton’s squad decimation will be too hard to come back from which will result in a bottom of the table finish at nineteenth, ultimately relegating the club to the Football League.

Collin Ruby is a writer for StoppageTimeSoccer.com, Follow him on Twitter @Collin_Ruby, Like him on Facebook and Add him to your circle on Google+

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