Ralph Hasenhuttl has worked wonders at Southampton.

Struggling in the first half of last season, Saints finished the campaign strongly and have carried those standards into 2020/21. The south coast club are in the football betting mix for a European finish.

Their impressive performances this term are particularly impressive after what was a quiet window.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s loss has not had a major impact on the team, and Theo Walcott has already proved to be a shrewd pickup on loan from Arsenal.

Could Southampton be active in the January window to bolster their squad ahead of a push for a top six spot?

Southampton Signings – Arrivals

  • Ibrahima Diallo – from Stade Brest (£13.5 million)

  • Kyle Walker-Peters – from Tottenham Hotspur (£12 million)

  • Theo Walcott – from Everton (Loan)

  • Mohammed Salisu – from Real Valladolid (£10.8 million)

Southampton Confirmed Departures

  • Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – to Tottenham Hotspur (£15 million)

  • Harrison Reed – to Fulham (£5.85 million)

  • Mario Lemina – to Fulham (Loan)

  • Wesley Hoedt – to Lazio (Loan)

  • Angus Gunn – to Stoke City (Loan)

  • Josh Sims – to Doncaster Rovers (Loan)

  • Jake Hesketh – to Crawley Town (Loan)

  • Sofiane Boufal – to Angers (Free)

  • Cedric Soares – to Arsenal (Free)

  • Jack Rose – to Walsall (Free)

  • Maya Yoshida – to Sampdoria (Free)

  • Guido Carrillo – to Elche (Free)

Southampton History

Founded in the mid-1880s, Southampton played in the Southern League from 1894 and didn’t join the Football League until after World War One.

Although they have only won one major trophy in their existence (the 1976 FA Cup), Saints have spent the majority of their time in the top flight since first earning promotion in 1966.

They held in Division One and then the Premier League from 1978 through to 2005, which included a second-place finish in 1983/84.

Relegation in 2005 saw the club hit a period of severe turmoil. Board members resigned and there were several misjudged managerial decisions. The club went into administration in 2009, resulting in a points penalty.

Relegated to League One, they finished seventh in the third tier in 2009/10 before consecutive promotions under Nigel Adkins took them back to the Premier League.

Adkins was controversially replaced by Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine took the club to new heights, and they continued to impress despite continuous player sales.

Ronald Koeman continued the good work before a spell of relative instability and poorer performances under Claude Puel, Mauricio Pellegrino and Mark Hughes. Ralph Hasenhuttl was appointed in 2018.

Southampton Rivalries

Southampton’s main rivalry is with Portsmouth. The South Coast Derby is an intense fixture with Saints winning 35 of their 71 meetings all-time.

Southampton got the better of Pompey in their last clash too, beating their bitter rivals 4-0 in the League Cup in 2019.

The two sides haven’t faced each other much this century. Their last league season together was 2011/12 in the Championship – their previous league meeting was in the Premier League seven years prior.

Rivalries with Bournemouth and Brighton have been manufactured for marketing purposes, but neither club has overlapped enough to have a true rivalry with Southampton.

Southampton Owners

Southampton are owned by Lander Sports Investment. Their chairman is Gao Jisheng.

Gao spent around £200 million to purchase an 80% stake in the club in 2017 with the remaining 20% still held by the Liebherr family, who bought the club after administration.

It was reported in the summer of 2020 that Gao could be looking to move on from the club with certain news outlets claiming he would relinquish his share at a cut-price.

Although he rarely speaks publicly, an interview from 2019 suggested Gao wants the club to be self-sufficient.

He said, “I am not treating Southampton as a pig to be fattened and sold. I am treating it as a child. But my children must believe they cannot depend on the boss.

"I have said to Southampton: ‘I am now your father. But I am putting you on the right track: you need to feed yourself.”

Southampton Record Transfer Fees Paid:

  1. Jannik Vestergaard - £22.5 million to Borussia Monchengladbach in 2018

  2. Sadio Mane - £20.7 million to RB Salzburg in 2014

  3. Danny Ings - £20 million to Liverpool in 2019

  4. Guido Carrillo - £19.8 million to AS Monaco in 2017

  5. Sofiane Boufal - £16.8 million to Lille in 2016

Southampton Record Transfer Fees Received:

  1. Virgil van Dijk - £76 million from Liverpool in 2018

  2. Sadio Mane - £37 million from Liverpool in 2016

  3. Luke Shaw - £34 million from Manchester United in 2014

  4. Morgan Schneiderlin - £31.5 million from Manchester United in 2015

  5. Adam Lallana - £28 million from Liverpool in 2014

*Credit for the main photo belongs to Frank Augstein, Pool / AP Photo*


FIRST PUBLISHED: 19th December 2020

About the Author
Sam Cox

Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.