Former Southampton striker Alan Shearer has told BBC's Match of the Day 2 Extra that recruitment is the hardest job in football - but the Saints have made it look easy.
Southampton proved their quality this weekend with a stunning 3-1 victory away at Chelsea, heaping the pressure on Blues boss Jose Mourinho with a clinical display.
Saints manager Ronald Koeman has earned plaudits for his work at St. Mary's Stadium, especially considering the losses he has had to deal with since leaving Feyenoord to replace Mauricio Pochettino in 2014.
In just over a year at the helm, Koeman has seen Nathaniel Clyne, Calum Chambers, Dejan Lovren, Toby Alderweireld, Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert leave the South Coast and join Premier League rivals, giving the Dutchman a tough task in terms of replacing them.
Yet with players like Ryan Bertrand, Dusan Tadic, Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle, thriving under Koeman, Southampton have earned a reputation for being the most savvy Premier League club in the transfer market, making shrewd, calculated signings whilst the rest of the divisions splashes the cash.
Now, after their display against Chelsea, former Saints star Alan Shearer - who scored 43 goals in 159 games for the club - has now hailed his former employers for their work in the transfer market on Match of the Day 2 Extra, claiming that their moves have been 'to perfection'.
"I'm pretty sure that recruitment is probably the hardest job in football," said Shearer. "When you consider what Southampton have had to do over the last two or three years, with who they've got rid of, but, more importantly, who they've replaced them with. It seems as if it's been to perfection, some of the players [they've signed]."
"You not only want to sign good players, you need to sign good characters, and Southampton seem to have done that - and they've made it look easy, which of course, it's not," he added.
Another seventh place finish would be a huge achievement for Southampton, though fans will again be concerned about losing stars like Mane, or even boss Koeman, who remains one of the most underrated managers in the Premier League.