After finishing 15th or worse in four of the last five top-flight campaigns, Ruben Selles’ side couldn’t dodge the bullet this term, becoming the first team to book tickets for the Championship next season.
They were dancing on the edge of disaster for too long, and it was only a matter of time before they fell off the cliff, with their 11-year stay in the Premier League coming to a tepid end.
Whether they’ll secure a swift top-flight return is open for debate, but the Saints hierarchy will have to weather the storm this summer to keep their squad competitive for next season.
Numerous Southampton stars could flee the sinking ship in the upcoming transfer window to either stay in the Premier League or secure a move to other Europe’s top leagues.
Despite the Hampshire-based outfit’s woeful season, there are several candidates that could cut ties with the club after catching the eye of prominent suitors.
Here’s our list of five Southampton players who could wave goodbye to St Mary’s this summer.
#5 Armel Bella-Kotchap
Not many 21-year-old defenders have a full Premier League season as starters in their resume, but the German is one of them.
Even though Southampton cannot brag about their defensive record, Bella-Kotchap has been a rare shining light this term.
#4 Che Adams
It’s been four years since the Scottish striker swapped Birmingham City for the south coast as one of his country’s top talents.
While his development has been somewhat suppressed due to the Saints’ perennial struggle in the Premier League, he should have no problems finding a new landing spot.
#3 Carlos Alcaraz
The dynamic 20-year-old midfielder joined Southampton in January, putting pen on a four-and-a-half-year contract, yet his departure could come much sooner.
With four goals and one assists from 16 league appearances in the second half of the season, he’s turned into one of the most sought-after Saints starlets.
#2 James Ward-Prowse
The free-kick specialist, but more importantly, the captain of this wrecked ship, has been among the most highly-rated midfielders in the Premier League for years.
If he decides to leave, finding a high-profile destination should be a piece of cake for a player of his calibre, but what if he opts to follow his heart and stay put?
#1 Romeo Lavia
Lavia’s rise to prominence at St Mary’s in the face of adversity has not gone unnoticed, with several elite English clubs ready to start a transfer tug-of-war to secure his services.
Only a year after being deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester City, the deep-lying midfielder has developed into one of the most exciting young prospects in the Premier League.
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