After two pretty underwhelming seasons, Southampton have a lot of work to do if they are to return to the top half of the Premier League table.
Much of that work will have to be done in the transfer market, though Ralph Hasenhuttl is predicting a difficult summer in that regard.
“It will be a difficult summer, I think, because we have our limits with transfer fees, things like that. But we must be clear that we have to make a few new players in the team,” the Austrian told Sky Sports last month.
With Southampton reportedly chasing Jean-Philippe Mateta, though, there is reason for Hasenhuttl to be optimistic both now and going forward.
Spending that sort of money on a player who could solve one of the biggest problems in Hasenhuttl’s squad, is exactly the sort of ambition that could take the Saints to where they once were.
Scoring 14 goals in the Bundesliga last season, Mateta looks capable of providing the sort of firepower Danny Ings, Shane Long and Charlie Austin could not on a regular basis, with the trio needing to combine their total of strikes in the league to match the Mainz man.
Having lost the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Dusan Tadic in recent transfer windows, the quality of Southampton’s squad has really fallen in certain areas.
Hasenhuttl has done a good job in trying to fill some of the holes with youth players. Yan Valery, for example, has been a revelation at right-back.
But to become a team capable of challenging for Europe again, Southampton need to spend money, which is why the reported pursuit of Mateta could be a good sign for Hasenhuttl and the St. Mary’s faithful.
Southampton fans, do you think the club need to spend big to climb the table next season? Let us know your thoughts!