Between November 30 to December 16, Southampton suffered five straight losses as they fell from the top four and was knocked out of the Capital One Cup.
That infamous streak may be attributed to the fact that it was Manchester City, Manchester United, and Arsenal, teams that are (at least on paper) better than Southampton. While Sheffield United has a penchant for cup competition and knocking out top-flight teams.
But injuries to key personnel didn't help either, during that awful stretch, James Ward-Prowse, Morgan Schneiderlin, Jack Cork, and Jake Hesketh had to miss several matches with various injuries.
Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama, and Toby Alderweireld missed Saturday's game with injuries. After the game, Shane Long was the latest to succumbed to injury. Benchwarmer Emmanuel Mayuka also suffered an injury while on duty with Zambia. Furthermore, long-term absentee Sam Gallagher and Jay Rodriguez is still sidelined.
Here's the breakdown of the team's depth in light of the recent injuries:
This is perhaps Southampton's best department, Fraser Forster has been ever present for The Saints, forcing Kelvin Davis to sit on the bench throughout the season.
Most of Southampton's defender is healthy, apart from Alderweireld (hamstring) and Maya Yoshida, who was on national team duty with Japan. The latter should be available for selection this weekend, but having played all of Japan's minutes in Asian Cup (more than 390 minutes plus travel), fatigue could be an issue. The former is Saints' utility man as he is able to play as a centre half, fullback, and midfielder. He might make his return on February 7 against QPR.
The Saints doesn't have a lot of depth to begin with here, and recent injuries to Schneiderlin and Wanyama won't help as the two has played nearly 2800 minutes in midfield. Steven Davis, Ward-Prowse, Cork, and Harrison Reed should be able to held the fort for now, but another injury will really stretch the midfield.
Koeman, aware that Mané will leave for Africa Cup of Nations duty with Senegal, acted quickly in signing Eljero Elia on loan from Werder Bremen. But injuries to Long and Mayuka means that there's no one to replace Graziano Pellè, who has played 1952 minutes in the league alone (second to Forster). After a wonderful start, the Italian has hit a rough patch, which may be down to fatigue.
Now with that in mind, in which area should the manager look to add reinforcements?