Ronald Koeman has told the Daily Echo that his Southampton squad is stronger this year than it was last season.
The Saints enjoyed a positive 2014/15 campaign, and managed to qualify for the Europa League due to their seventh place finish in the Premier League, but Koeman still thinks his side have progressed over the summer.
The Dutch manager says that he has greater competition for places this time around, and feels this quality was highlighted in Southampton's 6-0 win against Milton Keynes Dons in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.
“I said before that we have more competition in our squad than we had last year and the front players showed and also the midfielders that we don’t have 11 players, we have more than 20 players, and it’s always our job to put the best 11 to start the game," he explained.
“We make some changes in the team but the level was still very high.”
Koeman made a number of changes to his team which beat MK Dons, and the performance of those drafted in will have posed a selection dilemma ahead of the weekend.
Southampton have struggled so far in the 2015/16 campaign, and have picked up just one win from their opening six matches.
Due to this poor form, Southampton lie in 16th place in the top-flight table, but Koeman will be hoping that the depth in his squad will shine through in the long-run.
Southampton's form tailed off towards the back end of last season, after a blistering start, and they will be keen to avoid a similarly poor finish this time around, now Koeman knows he can rotate his squad without compromising on quality.