It’s no secret that Southampton have produced, developed and crucially sold a number of very good players over the last 5 to 10 years. For a long time, the Saints academy and recruitment was the envy of every club in English football.
All that hard work brought at enormous amount of money into the club when their star players ultimately departed St Mary’s, but no team can sustain repeatedly losing their best players, and so it has proved on the south coast.
Southampton flirted with relegation last season, and although we think they’ll be alright, they’ll almost certainly be down there once again this term. But that’s enough about the fate of the club, we wanted to take a look at some of their most lucrative sales.
Here are Southampton’s 7 most expensive player sales: Where are they now?
7. Calum Chambers - Fulham
Sold to Arsenal for a reported £16 million, which is enough to keep the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out of this seven, seventh place goes to Calum Chambers. A versatile defender who played predominantly as a right-back, Chambers made 22 league appearances in his debut season with the Saints. Arsenal acted fast, but the England international hasn’t made much of an impact at the Emirates since signing for the club under Arsene Wenger. He is currently on-loan with recently-promoted Fulham, his second loan move away from the Gunners.
6. Dejan Lovren - Liverpool
Dejan Lovren of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City at Anfield on October 27, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
One of the best defenders in the world, that’s his opinion - not mine - I should point out, Dejan Lovren left Southampton for a fee of £20 million back in 2014. That made him Liverpool’s most expensive defender at the time, but he had real difficulties replicating the form he had shown at St Mary’s at Anfield. Considered one of the worst signings of that summer, Lovren hasn’t laid down and died on Merseyside, instead fighting to remain at the club and putting in some much improved performances in recent seasons.
Despite the 29-year-old’s improvements, the flourishing centre-back partnership of Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk may prove hard for him to dismantle.
5. Adam Lallana - Liverpool
Liverpool have a reputation for signing a number of players from Southampton, and that is because they have. If he wanted to, Jurgen Klopp could name a lineup in which over half of his starting XI have previously played for the Saints, and the second current Liverpool player in this seven is Adam Lallana.
A really gifted midfielder, Lallana had played more than 250 games for Southampton, often captaining the club through their rise from League One to the Premier League, and his departure perhaps hurt more than any other. After a few bright seasons at Anfield, Lallana has been plagued by injuries for the last 12 months.
4. Morgan Schneiderlin - Everton
Morgan Schneiderlin of Everton arrives for the Premier League match between Arsenal v Everton at Emirates Stadium on September 23, 2018 in London, England.
The only player in this seven who isn’t still contracted to the club they left Southampton to join, Morgan Schneiderlin left Southampton to join Manchester United for more than £25 million. The French international had also been with the Saints since their time in League One, also racking up more than 250 appearances, and he had been their Fans Player of the Year in 2013. Schneiderlin was a regular in his first season at Old Trafford, but he lasted little more than a single season with the club, before being sold for a potential £24 million to his current club Everton.
3. Luke Shaw - Manchester United
The most expensive teenager in world football when he signed for Manchester United in 2014, Luke Shaw’s time at Old Trafford has been a pretty bumpy ride. He suffered a double leg fracture in only his second season with the Red Devils, and his long road to recovery has included some real ‘character building’ from his own manager. Now aged 23 though, Shaw seems to have come out of it smelling of roses, and he recently signed a lucrative new deal with the club.
2. Sadio Mane - Liverpool
(THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Sadio Mane of Liverpool during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on October 31, 2018 in Liverpool, England.
I must admit to not being quite sure if Sadio Mane was a Champions League level player worth £34 million when Liverpool signed him in 2016, but I’m happy to hold my hands up and admit I was wrong on that one. £34 million now seems like peanuts at Champions League level, and Mane just keeps getting better under Jurgen Klopp. 13 goals in his debut season was followed by 20 last term, and he looks set to better that once again with 7 in 13 so far this season. Still only 26, Mane has even been nominated for the 2018 Ballon d’Or.
1. Virgil van Dijk - Liverpool
More than half the players in this seven play for Liverpool, and by far and away the top spot having cost the Reds some £75 million, Virgil van Dijk is the world’s most expensive defender. Thankfully, however, he is one of the best defenders in the world, for our money at least, and he’s got plenty of football left in him aged 27.
Quick, strong and composed, Van Dijk is not just a very good footballer, he’s also an excellent communicator who has completely transformed Liverpool’s backline. If he were to break his leg tomorrow, we think you could as good as write off Liverpool’s title chances, that’s how important he is to the club.
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