Southampton Is No Longer a Selling Club: One Change Saints Fans Can Agree on
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For years and years, Southampton has seen an exodus of young talent leave the club because the club needed the funds from the sale of the player or just could not convince the player to stay with the Saints. Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are just a few players who started at Southampton but ply their trade with other Premier League clubs.
As a fan, nothing is more frustrating than watching a former player your favorite club groomed come back to your stadium, score a goal, then show his class by not celebrating, which looks even more ridiculous than the player doing his normal celebration.
However, since Southampton's re-emergence into the Premier League, the exodus has stopped. Not one prominent first-team player has been sold off, despite rumors of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Gaston Ramirez and Luke Shaw all ending up with "higher-profile clubs."
Despite Southampton's tenuous position near the relegation zone and a recent managerial change, many Southampton players have had no problem committing their future to the club.
Just today, goalkeeper Kelvin Davis signed an extension that will have him under contract until 2016, effectively the end of his career. Davis joins a list of players including James Ward-Prowse, Guly Do Prado, Morgan Schneiderlin and Jason Puncheon who have all extended their contracts since the summer. In addition, Shaw has committed to signing a new deal when he turns 18 in July.
Those re-signings don't even count the eight players Southampton brought in over the course of the season: Jay Rodriguez, Steven Davis, Nathaniel Clyne, Emmanuel Mayuka, Ramirez, Artur Boruc and Vegard Forren.
Heading into next season, only three Southampton players are currently not under contract. Of those three, Boruc, Fraser Richardson and Richard Chaplow, only the current No. 1 goalkeeper Boruc has made more than 10 appearances. It seems likely that Richardson and Chaplow will be allowed to leave at the end of the season, meaning Boruc is the only contract remaining to wrap up.
Confirming Premier League status for next season, and a share of the new treasure chest of £5 billion worth of television rights, will only add to the financial security of Southampton. The Saints already have the backing of the Markus Liebherr estate, estimated to be worth €3 billion.
For the other Premier League teams who are looking to pluck the rising stars of Southampton's academy, you can save your money and invest in your own youth academies.
The days of Southampton FC being a selling club are over.
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