James Beattie: The best thing that happened to Southampton last summer

Southampton Football Club

Former Southampton forward James Beattie has praised the way the club backed Ronald Koeman last summer.

Former Southampton forward James Beattie has told BleacherReport that he feels the best thing that happened for the club last summer was Ronald Koeman being backed in the transfer market.

Southampton are in a great position to launch an assault on the Champions League qualification places and the manager deserves credit for the players he brought into the club last summer.

“I think the best thing that happened last summer was that the owner Katharina Liebherr gave Ronald all that money to go and reinvest,” said Beattie.

“That’s a huge step. The club then recruited some fantastic, largely unknown, players because the manager knows the European market very, very well.”

Koeman was left with a big job to do when it was announced that he’d be the man coming in to replace former manager Mauricio Pochettino, because so many of the key players from last season had been sold.

Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana are three good examples, with the trio heading off to link up with Liverpool, which left holes in all key positions of the Southampton team.

Koeman took his time to identify the players he felt would be important for the style of play he wanted to create at the club and he got his men with the likes of Dusan Tadic turning the game against Manchester United and Graziano Pelle proving important in attack, with eight goals and two assists this season.

He also deserves credit because he prevented further key players from leaving with Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez both coveted by Tottenham last summer according to the Guardian.

Asked now, they will probably say they made the right decision to stay at the club and Koeman will certainly have another big challenge on his hands in the summer if the squad qualifies for the Champions League.

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