The veteran defender has seen it all at St. Mary’s Stadium, from a promotion from the Championship to establishing themselves as an attractive Premier League outfit.
Following their win over Sunderland at the weekend, the Saints moved up to seventh spot and are just four points shy of Manchester United in the top four.
But how far can Southampton go? After all, this is a team who have been broken up year upon year with the sales of their better players to the Premier League’s so-called bigger clubs.
Speaking on his side’s ambitions, Fonte said that Champions League football is the aim and a place among the top-flight’s upper echelons is exactly where his club belong.
“It is very hard because the big teams spend a lot of money. I think we are a better team than last season. We look strong and we are going to give it a real go,” Fonte said of a top-four finish to the the Daily Mail.
“People may have thought finishing seventh last year was above ourselves, but don’t forget we were eighth in the previous season. We belong in this area, perhaps even higher.”
Southampton have been a club of huge progress in recent years, earning back-to-back promotions from League One before establishing themselves as a top-half Premier League side.
Mauricio Pochettino deserves great credit for the work he did prior to Ronald Koeman’s arrival, but the Saints’ current position is very much down to the brilliant performance of their Dutch manager.
The Saints have an excellent academy, a full stadium and a squad full of talent – the very role model for a number of clubs up and down the country looking to settle among the elite.