The good and the bad from Southampton's January transfer window

We take an in-depth look at Southampton's January transfer window.

Southampton's January transfer window could be one which defines whether the club makes it into the Champions League spots or not.

The Saints are sustaining a challenge for Europe's elite competition, but there has been realisation that they needed to add a sprinkling of quality if they are to break into the top-four and, as a result, three players were acquired. 

Southampton brought in Eljero Elia and Filip Djuricic on loan, while they also completed a permanent move for Ryan Bertrand, and in this article we analyse all of the business carried out over the past month.

The Good

Ryan Bertrand

Signing Bertrand on a permanent deal from Chelsea is a major step forward from the club and should allow them to starting building their defensive unit around him.

Having Bertrand and Matt Targett means that Southampton's left-back spot is secure for many years to come, and that is remarkable considering Luke Shaw only left last summer.

Shaw went to Manchester United for a fee reportedly worth £30 million, but they have quickly replaced him, without losing any quality, and with Bertrand tied down they still have a healthy profit left over. Great work. 

Eljero Elia

Southampton's transfer of Elia raised a few eyebrows at first, but he has already shown why Ronald Koeman had faith in him to be a success.

The Dutch winger has struggled for form over a prolonged period of time, but he looks like a man with a point to prove at St. Mary's and the Saints have already seen the best of him.

The Werder Bremen loan star's two-goal salvo against Newcastle United earlier in the month delivered Southampton three points at St. James' Park and he will be hoping to put in more match-winning performances between now and the end of the season.

James Ward-Prowse 

Southampton managed to get James Ward-Prowse to sign a five-and-a-half-year deal at the club, securing his future, and it is an important deal in more ways than one.

Not only does it ensure that Ward-Prowse stays with them, but it also highlights the progress they are making as a club.

The Saints have seen many of their brightest youngsters depart in recent years, but Ward-Prowse's commitment proves they are no longer a stepping-stone club and they should be heartened by this. 

The Bad

Not a whole lot. Southampton haven't made a habit of doing poor business and this looks to have been another prudent window. 

A few supporters would have liked Jack Cork to have stayed, but he was never likely to be a player to push them on to the next level and his departure is not too much of a loss. 

In terms of other areas in need of strengthening, there is an argument to suggest that a back-up striker could have been signed to help Graziano Pelle out, but that was not an urgent priority. 

Challenges for the summer

The major challenge for Southampton will be ensuring that they are not victims of their own success again.

Last season the Saints lost a number of their key players during the summer transfer window, after a brilliant campaign, and they need to avoid a repeat this time around. 

Southampton have done a marvellous rebuilding job this term, but it would be foolish to expect this to be a process that would work so successfully every year and keeping their players will be the priority at the end of the season. 

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