Who knows whether Florin Gardos and Jeremy Pied would have developed into crucial first-team players at Southampton had they stayed injury free on the South Coast?
There is no doubting the talent of the defensive duo after all.
Southampton paid a hefty £6 million to sign Romanian international Gardos from Steaua Bucharest in the summer of 2014, while right-back Pied arrived at St Mary’s for what looked like an inspired bargain deal when his contract at Ligue 1 high-flyers Nice expired.
As it stands, however, both Gardos and Pied will be free to leave Southampton at the end of this season, as reported by the Daily Echo, with the club seemingly having no plans to offer the out-of-contract duo new deals.
Gardos has missed a total of 54 games in his three-and-a-half years in England and has not made a single appearance this season, having fallen well down the pecking order.
Pied, meanwhile, has featured four times this season but, after missing almost the whole of his debut campaign with a serious knee injury, has never looked like challenging Portugal international Cedric Soares for a first-team berth.
And the Echo adds that both Gardos and Pied are now free to negotiate with potential new clubs and sign a pre-contract agreement in time for the summer.
It is unlikely they will be missed on the South Coast.