Southampton's top five signings since 1992 ranked

Morgan Schneiderlin celebrates after scoring the first goal for Southampton

Southampton will be hoping that any players they sign this month will contend for a place in the top five in future.

As the January transfer window begins to reach top gear, HITC Sport is taking a look back at Southampton's five best signings since the start of the Premier League era in 1992:

5. Claus Lundekvam

Southampton's Claus Lundekvam and Matthew Oakley celebrate after the gameClaus Lundekvam

When Southampton landed largely-unknown defender Claus Lundekvam in 1996, few would have imagined that he would go on to spend more than a decade on the south coast, making well over 400 appearances and captaining the Saints in many of those games. In his prime, few players in the Southampton squad were as reliable as the Norwegian. 

4. Morgan Schneiderlin

The reason that Morgan Schneiderlin is ahead of a club hero such as Lundekvam is the fact that he arrived at St Mary's for just £1.2 million in June 2008 (via BBC Sport), went on to make 230 league appearances before departing seven years later for £24 million (via Guardian). He was one of several key players who helped Southampton go from the doldrums in the third tier to top-half contenders in the Premier League in just a handful of seasons.

3. James Beattie

Picture Supplied by Action Images

Southampton have established themselves in recent times as one of the most astute players in the Premier League when it comes to dealings in the transfer market, but it was perhaps a deal they pulled off nearly two decades ago that may go down as the best bargain they have managed. In 1998, Blackburn offered the Saints £7.5 million for Kevin Davies and threw in James Beattie to sweeten the deal (via talkSPORT). Beattie went on to become a talisman of the side during his time in the south, reaching double figures in the Premier League in four consecutive campaigns. 

Meanwhile, Davies returned to Southampton one year later, having scored just one league goal in 23 games at Ewood Park. 

2.  Kelvin Davis

Like Schneiderlin, Kelvin Davis was a key part of the team that went from League One to the top flight. During the Saints' difficult times before their meteoric rise, it was the goalkeeper who prevented their decline on the pitch from becoming quite as desperate as their situation off it. In his 10 seasons with the club, he made 271 league appearances, and most Southampton fans will suggest that he probably deserved to win nearly as many man of the match awards. 

1. Rickie Lambert

Rickie Lambert scores Southampton's first goal

In terms of securing value for money, there have surely been few deals as good as Southampton's move for Rickie Lambert. The striker signed for around £1 million (via BBC Sport) and went on to prove that a goalscorer can find the back of the net at any level. He scored 106 league goals in just 207 games, and was capable of finding the back of the net from anywhere, whether it be with a poacher's goal, a powerful header, a delicious free-kick or a 40 yard screamer. Though others commanded much larger fees when they left - Lambert moved to Liverpool for £4 million in 2014 (via BBC Sport) - his goals played a crucial role in the Saints re-establishing themselves as Premier League stalwarts, so his contribution could surely be deemed priceless. 

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