HomeFootballSouthampton XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Southampton XI if they didn’t sell their star players

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Southampton, a club located in the south coast of England, have one of the most renowned youth academies in the Premier League

Despite producing class talents such as Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Luke Shaw, the club have failed to hold on to their homegrown talent as they’re constantly forced to sell their best players to the so-called big clubs. 

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The Saints also have a vast scouting network, fabled for unearthing various rare gems, but despite this, the club have to constantly rebuild their squad because of their inability to fend off the big fishes. 

But what if the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur never raided the St. Mary’s Stadium? What would their team look like then? 

Here’s how Southampton could line-up if they didn’t sell their star players: 

Paulo Gazzaniga (Goalkeeper)

The Argentine custodian has been performing admirably well in the absence of Hugo Lloris, but did you know that Paulo Gazzaniga began his career at Valencia? 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7Oue4RFhbJ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

He joined the Saints in 2012 and later moved to Spurs in a deal worth £900k. Since 2017, he has played 4 times for Tottenham, with 25 of them coming in the 2019-20 season alone. 

Nathaniel Clyne (Right-back)

After making more than 100 appearances for Crystal Palace, Nathaniel Clyne joined Southampton in 2012, after they won promotion back to the Premier League. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZgUiG_A5wW/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

The right-back continued his rise to the top before Liverpool came calling in 2015. He would go on to make 100 appearances for the Reds, but injuries and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s emergence forced him out of the first-team picture at Anfield. Clyne has been linked with a move to West Ham to resurrect his career. 

Dejan Lovren (Centre-back)

The Croatian centre-back has been an integral part of Liverpool’s success since arriving at Anfield in 2014 from Southampton.

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Dejan Lovren impressed the Saints so much that they shelled out £8.5 million to sign him from Lyon. Just one year later though, he was on his way to Merseyside, and the south coast club had earned a £12 million profit from his sale. 

Virgil van Dijk (Centre-back)

Southampton pulled off a masterstroke when they signed Virgil van Dijk from Celtic in 2015. For a brief period of time, he was the best defender outside of the top six clubs, and eventually, Liverpool signed him for a mammoth fee of £75 million in January 2018 after a prolonged transfer saga. 

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But it was money spent well as Van Dijk is now regarded as the best in his trade.

Luke Shaw (Left-back)

The first homegrown talent on our list, Luke Shaw graduated through the youth ranks at the St. Mary’s and made his senior debut at the age of 16. 

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Soon, Manchester United signed Shaw for around £30 million, making him the most expensive teenager in 2014. But he has often struggled during his time at Old Trafford. 

Victor Wanyama (Central defensive midfielder)

The Kenyan was signed by the Saints in 2013 after his heroics in the Champions League the previous season; he scored in Celtic’s famous 2-1 win against Barcelona

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After three seasons, Wanyama jumped ship to Tottenham. He currently plays for MLS side Montreal Impact. 

Adam Lallan (Central midfielder)

Another product of Southampton’s famed youth academy, Adam Lallana helped the club rise from the third division, and was named the skipper when they were promoted to the Premier League. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9cL8EBn_pX/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

When Liverpool came calling in 2014, it was too good a chance to turn down, and the Englishman has had his moments at Anfield. But as per recent reports, he could be on the move this summer. 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Central midfielder)

After progressing through the youth teams of Southampton, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played for the senior team for just one year, before moving to Arsenal in 2011.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_VHcvtAlD7/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Despite his versatility, pace and technique, injuries hampered his time in north London. The 26-year-old joined Liverpool in 2017 but his injury woes have hampered his progress at Anfield too. 

Theo Walcott (Left-wing)

Theo Walcott began his career at a blistering pace (literally). After playing for the Saints’ first-team for just six months in 2005-06, he secured a move to Arsenal in January and was named in England’s World Cup squad later that year. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-wNhp-nqRL/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

He stayed in north London until 2018, racking up 398 appearances for the Gunners, before joining Everton in January 2018. 

Gareth Bale (Right-wing)

Another homegrown talent, Gareth Bale made his senior bow aged just 16 in the Championship, and soon Tottenham roped him in in 2007 for a fee of £7 million. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_cbwMbJ7Do/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

A left-back by trade, his pace and directness meant the player became a big asset when Spurs deployed him on the wings. A mega-money move to Real Madrid followed in 2013, but despite winning four champions Leagues with Los Blancos, Bale has never looked like the player he was in the Premier League. 

Sadio Mane (Centre-forward)

The Senegalese forward joined Southampton in 2014 from RB Salzburg and has since continued to dazzle Premier League fans with his pace, trickery and goal-scoring exploits. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9jRMrzquEz/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Liverpool acquired his services in 2016 and Mane has since formed a deadly strike partnership with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah at Anfield. The 28-year-old has won numerous accolades with the Reds, as he continues to rise to greater heights every season. 

Southampton’s probable line up if they kept their best players

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