Southampton need to bring in reinforcements up front in order to cope with the demands of European football, according to former manager Lawrie McMenemy.
The south-coast club finished seventh in the Premier League in Ronald Koeman’s first season in charge, with their place in the UEFA Europa League confirmed when Arsenal beat Aston Villa in last Saturday’s FA Cup final.
Key players such as Nathaniel Clyne and Morgan Schneiderlin have been linked with moves away despite their success last term.
But McMenemy, who spent 12 years as Southampton manager from 1973 to 1985, told Perform: “Ronald Koeman will definitely want to strengthen.
“He’ll also want to shut the door and not let the Clynes and Schneiderlins go. If you assume he can keep them the defence has been best in the country up until recently.”
Graziano Pelle – signed from Koeman’s former club Feyenoord in July last year – led the way on the goalscoring front with 16 goals.
Jay Rodriguez is poised to return from a knee ligament injury that forced him to miss all of the 2014-15 season.
However, McMenemy added: “Rodriguez will be fit, but he possibly an extra forward or two, we need to get more help up there.”
Lawrie McMenemy was speaking at an event for the Football Foundation, which is funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government through Sport England, and is celebrating 15 years of improving the country’s grassroots football facilities.
McMenemy was unveiled as a Football Foundation Ambassador and was speaking at a visit to one of nearly 500 3G pitches the Foundation has delivered. Many of these pitches are used by professional clubs’ community trusts’ outreach work.
Since its launch in 2000, the Foundation has supported 13,000 grassroots sport projects with grants worth £520million and leveraged £736m in additional partnership funding, thereby delivering schemes with a total project cost of £1.24bn.