Looking around the Premier League, it is hard not to wonder what Southampton's team would look like now if they had held onto to players like Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
However the sales of those players helped Southampton as they continued to develop their team and earn back to back promotions to get back into the top flight, and with the club now looking set to stay in the league for at least another season, they should not have to sell the crown jewels again in the near future.
Adam Lallana is the most recent player to commit his future to Southampton, with the 24 year old midfielder signing a five year deal that should put a stop to speculation about his future this summer. In January, Luke Shaw, another man frequently linked with a move also signed a five year deal, and over the past few weeks Morgan Schneiderlin, Jason Puncheon and Rickie Lambert have all put pen to paper on new contracts at St Mary's
Along with Jay Rodriguez, these are a collection of Southampton's best performers this season, who in years gone by might have been picked off by the biggest sides in the Premier League come the summer. Now the Saints have established themselves at the top again, those players can commit to Southampton, and are right to do so given the club's fine record of developing talent.
Staying in the Premier League this season is of particular importance for all teams this season given the huge rise in television payments next year, but for teams like Southampton, who have a proud record of bringing through young players, it was even more vital they stayed up to make it easier to keep hold of their stars.
The commitment from Lallana, and indeed the slew of other players with new contracts, demonstrate that this is already paying off, and Southampton are now in an excellent position to firmly place themselves in the top flight over the next few years.
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