Southampton can expect another interesting summer in the transfer market.
The Saints for the past two summers have had to contend with a raft of departures, yet they always seem to come out the other side stronger and that is great credit to boss Ronald Koeman.
With perhaps slightly less exits this summer, the Saints have a great opportunity to really strengthen but Paine warns copying Arsenal’s recent methods could prove a big mistake.
“If we started the season with the squad as we are now, unless you go into the big league with what you are going to spend, I don’t see where they can improve that much,” he explained.
“We always say even if you are a strong side then, strength for strength, buy better than what you’ve got.
“It’s amazing that managers, although there are weaknesses, often buy where they are stronger. Arsenal would be a prime example – everybody has been crying out for them to get a better back four and it always seems to be another striker or midfielder.”
Arsenal often frustrate their own supporters during the transfer market as boss Arsene Wenger seemingly ignores their obvious frailties and persists with players who perhaps are not quite good enough.
The Gunners have been crying out for a new centre-back, holding midfielder and world-class striker for years yet seemingly every summer a new play-maker, winger or rising talent instead joins the club.
Southampton have got an extremely settled side at present, but Koeman can improve the starting XI and his job will be to identify players who will help take the south coast side to the next level.
A new, younger striker with pace could be a good option for the Saints, while a top player who can budge Jordy Clasie and Oriol Romeu out of central midfield is another potential area to look at.