Southampton have experienced something of a revival under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
The squad may be incomplete, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a Saints fan who wasn’t happy with the man at the helm of the club.
Despite not mathematically being safe from relegation yet, it would be hugely surprising to see Southampton drop into the second tier of English football.
The south coast outfit have been linked with a few names over the last few weeks and months, and we’ve taken account of the rumours and constructed a possible Southampton starting XI for opening day next season.
Here’s what you could be feasting your eyes on:
GK: Angus Gunn
The former Manchester City shot-stopper has made the gloves his own at St Mary’s this year.
CB: Jannik Vestergaard
His first season in English football can be counted as a success, and I expect the 26-year-old to hang onto his spot in the starting lineup.
CB: Jan Bednarek
The other ‘Jan’, Bednarek has turned in some seriously impressive performances in recent matches. He’s in.
CB: Kevin Danso
Here’s a transfer I would love to see! Danso has started to break into Augsburg’s team in the Bundesliga this season, and the Austrian international could be tempted to St Mary’s by his compatriot Hasenhuttl.
RWB: Joakim Maehle
Southampton had a bid turned down for the Genk right-back in January, and I think the Saints could still make a move for the Danish 21-year-old despite the emergence of Yan Valery. Can’t have too many good, young defenders!
CM: Oriol Romeu
Romeu has started to form a strong central midfield partnership with this next man…
CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
…Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The 23-year-old is a battle-hardened all-rounder in the centre of the park.
LWB: Ryan Bertrand
It looked towards the end of last season that his time as a Saint might be coming to an end, but Bertrand has performed well this year and is under no threat of losing his place.
CAM: Nathan Redmond
Nathan Redmond has been Southampton’s star-man this season, and will be integral to Hasenhuttl’s plans next term.
CAM: Jean-Kevin Augustin
The RB Leipzig man has been linked with a move to Southampton, where he’d be reunited with his old boss. A striker by trade, I wonder if Hasenhuttl would try and convert the diminutive Augustin into one of his CAM roles.
ST: Danny Ings
Ings should retain his spot at the top of the formation, but the question marks over his fitness will persist.