Matt Le Tissier shares the huge regret that the Southampton board will have

Former professional footballer Matt le Tissier looks on during day fifteen of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on December 30, 2013 in London, England.

Southampton refused to sell Virgil van Dijk in the summer, only to sanction his exit in January.

Matt Le Tissier answers questions during Gillette Soccer Saturday Live with Jeff Stelling on March 19, 2012 at the Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, England.

Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier explained why he believes his former club will regret trying to keep hold of Virgil van Dijk in the summer of 2017, when speaking exclusively to Sky Sports, highlighting how the drawn-out transfer saga adversely affected Mauricio Pellegrino's side.

The Argentine lost his job on Sunday, after a run of just one league win in 17 outings, and he left St Mary's with his side sitting precariously in 17th spot in the Premier League table, just one point clear of the drop zone.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino on the touch line during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton at St. James Park on March 10, 2018 in Newcastle upon...

The Saints have massively regressed this season, having finished inside the top eight in each of the previous four campaigns, and their Premier League status is under serious threat, especially with some of the challenging fixtures that lie ahead of them.

Le Tissier, who scored 212 goals for Southampton, explained why his former club will regret having tried to keep hold of Van Dijk in the summer, only to sell him to Liverpool five months later, as quoted by Sky Sports:

The Soccer Saturday panel of (l to r) Jeff Stelling, Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson, Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas during Gillette Soccer Saturday Live with Jeff Stelling on March 19,...

"I think that was probably something that, looking back with hindsight, the club would probably regret, trying to keep him (Van Dijk) in the summer. They tried to do the right thing by the fans, in terms of not selling their best player every season, but sadly that did appear to backfire, and that situation probably didn't help the performances in the first half of the season."

The Saints still have to play Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City before the season ends, so things are looking really bleak for them.

If the south coast club are to stay up, they must be targeting their next two league fixtures away to Swansea City and West Ham respectively as a real chance for them to create some breathing space between themselves and the bottom three.

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