Adam Lallana may have left Southampton this summer in search of Champions League football - but he insists he hasn't been surprised by his former side's success so far this season.
Lallana was part of a key group of players who all left St. Mary's during the previous transfer window for pastures new but, despite this turnover in staff, the England international says he expected his old club to thrive.
Lallana joined Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren at Liverpool over the summer, while Luke Shaw left for Manchester United and Calum Chambers moved to Arsenal.
It was expected to derail the Saints' remarkable rise, which had seen them move from League One to eighth in the Premier League in rapid time, but seems to have instead galvanised a highly motivated and technically gifted squad.
The Saints are currently second in the table after a brilliant start which has taken many people by surprise.
Lallana, though, says he always had confidence that the squad would be able to cope without their high-profile former players and has hailed five of his former teammates and three of their new buys as the reason for this faith.
"It doesn't surprise me, they've recruited well with the money that's obviously come into the club and they've just got great players down there," Lallana told FourFourTwo.
"Look at Steve Davies, Nathaniel Clyne, Fraser Forster is a great keeper they've brought in, [Graziano] Pelle, [Dusan] Tadic, [Morgan] Schneiderlin, [Jack] Cork, [Victor] Wanyama.
"[They've got] great players down there. I still speak to people associated with the club as well, I've got friends down there."
At the moment Lallana is having to watch on with envy at his old club, who have suffered none of the struggles which Liverpool are facing.
The Reds are already 11 points behind the Saints and will have to improve considerably if they are to catch up with the South Coast club by the end of the season.