Southampton analysis: Ronald Koeman starts rebuilding job at St Mary's after Dejan Lovren joins Liverpool

As Dejan Lovren becomes the latest star to leave, for Liverpool in a £20m deal, Ronald Koeman needs to strengthen his new Saints squad

As the Southampton exodus continues, with Dejan Lovren becoming the third player to leave for Liverpool and the ninth in total, Ronald Koeman would be forgiven for wondering if he had made a grave mistake in taking the Saints job this summer.

The 51-year-old former Ajax and Barcelona midfielder comes to the Premier League with managerial experience in some of the continent's most competitive leagues but nothing will have prepared him for the current situation threatening to derail his new club's recent renaissance in fortunes.

Having slumped into the third tier of English football, after a 10 point deduction in 2009, Nigel Adkins inspired a remarkable journey which took the Saints to the brink of European football and home of four full England internationals.

Lovren joins Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert in leaving for Anfield while Luke Shaw completed a £30m switch to Manchester United at the beginning of the summer transfer window.

Video: The latest transfer news
Read more: Koeman tweets picture of an empty pitch
Wenger closes in on £11m Calum Chambers
Liverpool back in for Jay Rodriguez

Less noteworthy departures include Danny Fox and Guly do Prado but there is an inescapable feeling that the South Coast club are headed for a relegation scrap this coming season.

Koeman, on the other hand, cuts a composed figure when questioned by the media on the subject and has already completed deals for Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic from Feyenoord and FC Twente respectively.

Graziano Pelle has a fearsome scoring record Pelle comes to the Premier League with an impressive goalscoring record, having netted 55 goals in 66 appearances for Koeman's former club, while Tadic appears to be a like-for-like replacement for £25m Lallana.

The two signings represent the new Saints manager's attraction, promising to build upon the foundations set by his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino. The task is proving to be increasingly problematic, however, with their immediate rivals taking turns to nibble at the spoils.

Read more: Saints offer Rodriguez new contract?
Koeman promises to replace Saints stars
Tadic signs for Southampton

Rumours emanating this weekend suggested that Reds manager Brendan Rodgers may even return with an attempt to sign Jay Rodriguez - the last remaining England star at the club.

As the club spirals into a source of comedy on social media, with even Koeman himself inadvertently taking part by posting a picture on Twitter of an empty training pitch, onlookers are bemused by the ever-escalating headache he is facing.

Many suggest that Southampton had merely hit their glass ceiling, that they wouldn't have been able to break into the Premier League's top six, and that they should consider themselves lucky to have players with such high resale values.

Is the sun coming down on Southampton's period of success? The Saints beat Bournemouth 1-0 on Friday With Calum Chambers also set to complete an £11m move to FA Cup holders Arsenal, it seems that Southampton have missed the train to European success.

Following in the footsteps of other Saints academy products - including Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - to leave for a shot at Champions League football, it must seem like they are destined to forever be a feeder club to the rich.

Even Pochettino, who openly revealed his desire to stay at St. Mary's beforehand, couldn't resist the temptation when Tottenham Hotspur gave him a call.

Koeman's appointment, however, offers the club's supporters hope.

The Dutchman is as talented as he is affable, two qualities which Roberto Martinez has proved can make an excellent Premier League manager, and appears to be one of the few people who could somehow navigate a route out of this situation.

Ronald Koeman is introduced as the new manager at Southampton Discussing his first training session, the new boss spoke of how he had addressed the issue with his new squad.

"They know that's the story in football, players come and go," Koeman said. "The most important message I gave them was that we have to keep the philosophy and the ambition of the club.

"If we lose some players we will bring in players of the same quality or even better quality if that is possible. There is money to spend and to continue the quality and bring new players in."

Luke Shaw left for Manchester United earlier in the summer for a fee in the region of £30m One suspects that the turnstiles which the likes of Shaw and Lallana had left swinging in their wake will shortly close and that Southampton will soon be able to stabilise and do some strengthening of their own.

With an estimated £90m profit this summer, there is scope to add to their squad and even improve upon it. Premier League squads have been picked apart for far less.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London