Ex-Saints star: All three Liverpool signings have been upgraded at St.Mary's

Ex-Southampton player Gordon Watson believes that all three of Liverpool's summer signings have been upgraded at St. Mary's.

Former Southampton man Gordon Watson has been impressed by the summer business that the Saints have done.

The South-Coast club were expected to struggle this season after losing a number of key players from the previous season over the summer, but they are in third position after a brilliant start.

A major reason for this has been their summer recruitment.

The club lost Calum Chambers, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw over the summer, but Watson believes that Southampton have upgraded many of their departed former stars.

"All the signings are upgrades on what we had,” Watson said to the Daily Echo.

“I would take Tadic over Lallana, I would take Pelle over Rickie Lambert, and I would take Toby (Alderweirald) and (Florin) Gardos over Lovren.

"Tadic did well in the first game at Liverpool, but he needed to do things a yard quicker.

“Now he is much sharper. I would take him over Lallana.

“Adam had an outstanding season for us last year, but he could have been dropped after the first few games.

“Last season everything we did went through Adam. Not everything we do goes through Tadic. Tadic is just another part of a strong jigsaw.

He added: “I’m not dissing Lovren, he did well for us, but now we’ve brought in two players for less than the price of selling Lovren.

“Toby has been brought in to play centre half and he’s so comfortable on the ball he played at right back in the World Cup finals.

“We’ve replaced Luke Shaw with a player who has played in a Champions League final and who will only get better, and we’ve got England’s No 2 goalkeeper!”

Southampton were also forced to replace their manager over the summer, when Mauricio Pochettino left to join Tottenham Hotspur, but they have seemingly found an improvement in this position, too.

Ronald Koeman has impressed all viewers with the start which he has made at St. Mary's and the Dutchman appears a very talented boss.

Few would have dealt with Southampton's mass exodus as calmly and efficiently as he has and he is now receiving his rewards.

The Saints have gone from possible relegation candidates to potential Champions League challengers already and Koeman has mentioned the possibility of a top four finish.

Whether this can be obtained remains to be seen, but if their new signings continue their brilliant form they will have a chance and that is a vast improvement on what many were expecting at the start of the campaign. 

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch