Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring the first goal for Southampton
It seems to be like night following day nowadays that Liverpool will be interested in a player from Southampton. Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren all joined in the summer of 2014, Nathaniel Clyne followed a year later, now Sadio Mane is a target for the Reds as an alternative to Germany World Cup winner Mario Gotze, according to the Liverpool Echo.
2014 saw Liverpool bring in Rickie Lambert for £4 million, Adam Lallana for £25 million and Dejan Lovren for £20 million. The first two came through the divisions with the Saints, so it's the fee of Lovren that is the area where Liverpool need to work on, as Southampton paid Lyon for £8.5 million the summer before, according to BBC Sport. The Reds needed a defender then, and if they are prepared to pay such a vast fee for a defender, one wonders why he wasn't on their radar earlier.
Liverpool's Dejan Lovren during the press conference
Instead of trying to do business a summer earlier, Liverpool are out of pocket to the tune of £11.5 million.
Nathaniel Clyne followed last summer - and has arguably been the best signing of the lot from the South coast after a season at Anfield in a fee of around £12.5 million. Southampton signed him from Crystal Palace in 2012 on a compensation fee after his contract at Selhurst Park expired.
Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne in action with Sevilla's Sergio Escudero
In the Echo's report which links the Reds with a summer move for Mane, they suggest the fee could be around £25 million if the two clubs were to do business - and that Liverpool passed up on the chance to sign him from Red Bull Salzburg - and he made the move to St Mary's for £12 million. The Saints could be the beneficiaries by another £13 million if that is the case.
It's not to say any of the footballers mentioned are not good footballers, they've all got cases to suggest that they are.
Of course, things change in football. One or two players can make that giant leap and then look like the kind of footballer that would fit into a certain side, or do a good job for them. But it feels like Liverpool have been a little behind the eight ball in recent years when it comes to scouting players - and Southampton have been the big beneficiaries financially.