Three players Southampton should sign

Sports Mole selects three transfer targets for new Southampton manager Ronald Koeman.

Playing some of the most stylish and attacking football in the division, Southampton achieved their joint-highest ever finish (eighth) in Premier League history last season.

However, rather than building upon that good work, Mauricio Pochettino opted to jump ship with Tottenham Hotspur, while key players Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert have all moved on. If reports are to believed, the likes of Dejan Lovren and Morgan Schneiderlin could soon be about to join that trio in heading out of the St Mary's Stadium exit door.

It all means that new manager Ronald Koeman has a hectic few weeks ahead of him. The former Holland international has already moved to fill some of the voids that he has inherited by signing striker Graziano Pelle and winger Dusan Tadic, but more new faces are required. Here, Sports Mole has picked out a further three transfer targets for the new Saints boss.


1. Fraser Forster, Celtic

Fraser Forster of England looks on prior to the international friendly match between England and Chile at Wembley Stadium on November 15, 2013© Getty Images

While Artur Boruc made a string of impressive saves last season, the Pole always gave the impression that he had a mistake in him - something that he proved when dallying in possession against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, which saw him robbed by Olivier Giroud, who rolled the ball into an unguarded net.

It would seem that Koeman is in the market for a new goalkeeper, particularly with the strong links that have been made with Cardiff City stopper David Marshall. The Scot certainly showed with the Bluebirds last season that he can be a very good Premier League keeper.

However, it's believed that Cardiff want at least £8m for Marshall and for the same money Forster could very well be prized away from Celtic. The 26-year-old, who has experience of the Champions League and being at a World Cup with England, would provide a real commanding presence with his 6'7" frame. Having won the Scottish Premiership the last three years, it's arguably the right time for Forster to prove himself in a more competitive league.


2. Matija Nastasic, Manchester City

Matija Nastasic of Manchester City during the Nelson Mandela Football Invitational match between SuperSport United and Manchester City from Loftus Versfeld on July 14, 2013© Getty Images

Not too much was known of Lovren on English shores when he made the switch from Lyon last summer, but the Croatia international made a major impression on the Premier League. The problem with such an impact, though, is that it attracts the attention of the bigger clubs.

Lovren has been linked with the likes of Barcelona in recent months, but it's Liverpool, who have already signed Lambert and Lallana from Southampton, that are thought to be the frontrunners for the centre-back's signature. Should he depart, Koeman would be left with just Jose Fonte, Maya Yoshida and Jos Hooiveld as central defensive options.

Like Lovren, Nastasic initially took to the Premier League following his arrival at Man City in 2012, but last season injuries and a loss form limited his number of appearances. The 21-year-old has not become a bad player, though, and would be a real asset to the Saints. He's quick over the ground and is also comfortable in possession, which will allow the Saints to build moves from defence. Should City's asking price be too high, a loan move could be a possibility.


3. Fabian Delph, Aston Villa

Aston Villa's Fabian Delph celebrates after scoring his team's third goal against Southampton during their Premier League match on December 4, 2013© Getty Images

It was a largely disappointing campaign for Villa last time out, yet Delph was a shining light in the heart of the midfield, so much so that there were calls from some for him to be included in Roy Hodgson's England squad.

Having made his debut as a teenager with Leeds United, it initially appeared that the midfielder was going to struggle to produce the goods in the Premier League. Yet, over the last 12 months, his athletic and tireless style has earned many plaudits, while his ability in possession of the ball and decision making also improved dramatically.

The above would make him a positive replacement for reported Arsenal target Schneiderlin. Perhaps the French international is currently a better passer of the ball, but with age on his side, there is still plenty of time for Delph to improve that aspect of his game even further.


David Marshall of Cardiff celebrates after Peter Whittingham scores his team's opening goal of the game during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and West Bromwich Albion at Cardiff City Stadium on December 14, 2013
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