Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama says that it was shocking to see so many players depart the club this summer.
The Saints' were victims of their own success, when a number of the Premier League's biggest clubs raided them of their top talent after they achieved their best every finish last season in the previous transfer window.
Southampton ended up in eighth place last year, but saw the core of that squad taken away from them.
Adam Lallana, Calum Chambers, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren and Luke Shaw all left St. Mary's over the summer in what was a difficult period for the club.
It is, therefore, a testament to everyone at the club that they have bounced back so quickly and look stronger, despite the mass exodus.
Southampton are currently in second position in the Premier League table and even Wanyama has been surprised by the start they have made.
"I didn’t think it would be like this as it was shocking to see so many players leave the club but then as the players came in over the summer I knew we could do better," he told Sky Sports. "If we can improve from last season’s position that will be great. As players we know there is talk about us and we love the challenge. Anything is possible I suppose.”
Wanyama has been one of Southampton's key performers of the campaign so far, putting in a number of eye-catching performances in central-midfield.
His presence has allowed the Saints to dominate play and he is also a pivotal factor behind them having the best defensive record in the league.
The former Celtic man offers great protection to the defence and is always disciplined in the way he plays.
Wanyama will now be looking to keep this form up as the Saints enter their most tricky period of the campaign so far.
Ronald Koeman's men face games against Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United in the coming weeks and it should give everyone a clear indication of whether their European push is set to last or not.