Which Southampton stars could be Premier League transfer targets this summer?

Following a dismal 2022/23 campaign, Southampton finished dead last and were relegated from the Premier League. Unsurprisingly, their demotion back to the Championship could spell an exodus of players from the South Coast…

The Saints brought an 11-year stay in the topflight to an end thanks to a disappointing season. Southampton, like numerous teams, went through three different managers, yet still mustered just 25 points.

Their squad never seemed to settle into any sort of rhythm due to the chopping and changing of coaches. Additionally, Southampton really struggled to prevent the opposition from scoring; with 73 goals shipped, the Saints had the second-worst GA in the division.

And, due to just 36 goals scored, they finished with the worst GD, too.

Despite this, Southampton still have a squad with numerous players who could make an impact in a Premier League team. Here, we pick out four stars that topflight sides may consider signing this summer.

James Ward-Prowse

Although Southampton want an eye-watering £52m for him, James Ward-Prowse is definitely a player who deserves to be in the Premier League.

The south coast club’s captain was the main driving force behind the team’s ill-fated survival attempt. JWP led Southampton in goals and assists, registering nine and four in each category respectively.

To add to this, Ward-Prowse was the main Saints star in numerous other factors. He led the team in passes per game, whilst showing up on the defensive end, too. For example, the England midfielder was top three at the club in interceptions per game.

James Ward-Prowse is also arguably one of the best set-piece takers in the world. There is no doubt that he should be in the Premier League next season; the question is, who will pay enough to get him?

Carlos Alcaraz

Like Ward-Prowse, Carlos Alcaraz was a rare bright spot in a brutal Southampton season. He only joined in January but certainly made up for lost time.

The attacking midfielder notched four goals and two assists from 13 starts in 2023. Many Saints fans may fondly remember his spectacular showing against league-leading Arsenal in April, where the Argentine scored and assisted in a 3-3 draw.

Alcaraz was one of the few Southampton players that provided a threat to the opposition. He took 1.3 shots per game and showed his efficiency when given a sight of goal by outperforming his xG of 1.9.

He is just 20 years old as well, so can continue to improve in the right environment. Southampton paid €13.7m for Carlos Alcaraz in January. Will they get the same from another side? Or could someone potentially walk away with a bargain?

Mohammed Salisu

It is odd to suggest a Southampton defender as a possible Premier League transfer target when they conceded 70+ goals. However, Mohammed Salisu could definitely be a useful player to a team still in the division.

The Ghana international led Southampton in clearances and tackles per game, whilst being top five at the club in blocks per game. Salisu also demonstrated his ability in possession with 38 accurate passes per game at a 77% completion rate.

Sadly, a hip issue prevented the defender from helping Southampton in their relegation run-in. Who knows? Maybe Salisu could have made a difference in keeping the Saints up.

Should a Premier League side make a move for Salisu, then they will get a physical, left-footed centre-back who can play out from the back, too.

Romeo Lavia

Rounding out this list is 19-year-old Romeo Lavia. Southampton threw the Man City youth product in at the deep end this season – yet the teenager looked like he belonged in the Premier League.

As you would expect from a top academy graduate, Lavia’s strength lies in keeping possession. He led the Saints in pass completion percentage at a rate of 86%. This was ahead of even James Ward-Prowse – although the England international played 15 more passes each match.

Lavia was also impressive when trying to regain the ball. His 2.1 tackles per game was behind only Mohammed Salisu, showing that the Belgian can be an asset in the middle of the park.

At just 19, Lavia has loads of potential that could prompt a Premier League side to swoop in.

There is a slight kicker in any deal, though. Per BBC Sport, Man City inserted a 20% sell-on clause when they sold Lavia to Southampton last summer. Therefore, the Saints may increase any potential transfer fee to offset this loss.

Southampton need a reset after their chaotic 2022/23 season. With new coach Russell Martin on the way, maybe a squad clear-out is needed as well. These four players – if the Saints make them available – could be in demand during the next few months.

Featured image credit: Getty