Amongst all the praises that the likes of West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth garnered last season for their productive and sustainable displays in the Premier League, Southampton was perhaps the one overlooked the most. The Saints, albeit not under the best of managers in Claude Puel, did make a comeback just at the last moment with some terrific displays.
Although they couldn’t improve upon their previous season’s table finish, the South Coast club churned out some brilliant results against top sides, which include a terrific display against Manchester United in the EFL Cup final that although saw them on the losing side but brought loud cheers from all sections of the fans.
They even kept their tradition of bringing to the fore some of the most exciting talents in the likes of Nathan Redmond, James Ward-Prowse, Dusan Tadic and more. With yet another new manager at the helm now, in Mauricio Pellegrino, we expect some similar displays next season too. Here are 3 players, who could be the next big thing at St. Mary’s next term-
Sam Gallagher- The towering forward is expected to finally get his big break into the first team following yet another successful campaign in the Championship. The 21-year-old had a decent season with Blackburn Rovers last season and although the side got relegated, he managed to impress numerous clubs with brilliant use of physique and prolific scoring.
Southampton are holding onto him now with their former third-choice Jay Rodriguez already signing for West Bromwich Albion. He managed to score 12 goals and four assists in 47 appearances last term and could be an effective option in the EFL Cup and FA Cup tournaments.
Jan Bednarek- Central defence could be a huge problem for Southampton next season with the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Cedric Soares, all potential departures this summer. While the club is adamant in not letting them go, the right offer would surely force them to part ways with their star performers last season.
And Bednarek could come in handy in that situation. The 21-year-old Polish youngster has been hugely impressive in the Polish League playing for the likes of Lech Poznan and Gornik Leczna and could be a versatile option in the third option.
Sofiane Boufal- The 23-year-old Morocco international has already become a fan favourite in no time with his exquisite close ball control under pressure situations and sublime finishing. Claude Puel’s squad rotation helped him get a significant number of games to prove himself and his versatility in the attacking third could be a huge advantage for the new manager.