View: Southampton transfer business makes them the team to watch this season
Southampton have had a very clear strategy in the transfer window this summer, but will their youth policy gamble pay off?
The Saints have only signed two players over the age of 23 this year, with two of their six summer signings being teenagers.
They are also interested in more youngsters, with Manchester City duo Sam Edozie [Fabrizio Romano] and Liam Delap [The Sun] both reported targets.
Out of all the youngsters they have signed, Armel Bella-Kotchap has played the most top-flight football, making 74 appearances for VFL Bochum, while on the other hgand Romeo Lavia has only made two appearances for Man City.
With this being said, how big a risk are the club taking focusing primarily on youth prospects, and will it come back to bite them in the future?
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With all the new signings that have been made, in addition to the departures of Shane Long and Fraser Forster, the club now has an average of 25, with nine of their players being aged either 23 or younger.
The aging legs of Long have been replaced with the enigmatic talent of 19-year-old Sekou Mara, and the steady, experienced hands of Forster have been replaced with the promising potential of 20-year-old Gavin Bazunu.
If all goes to plan, the young players will hit the ground running, progress into top players, and earn the club major profits in the long-term if they are sold onto bigger clubs.
However, if things do not work out, the Saints will be approaching the season with a very young and inexperienced squad, that will not have enough battle-hardened veterans ready to help guide the young talents.
The youngsters will be thrown into the deep end and expected to swim fast, and sometimes this is not the best method of improving players.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team will need to maintain Premier League safety next season if they are to build as a club and start battling for top-half finishes again.
So, this next season will be very interesting for them as a club, and their young squad will be without a doubt one of the teams to watch to see if their youth revolution is paying off.
In other Southampton news, the club have been told target Liam Delap can leave on loan.