clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:


Our writers discuss the biggest Saints surprise this season.

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Southampton's season has been one of a real ups and downs; A 4-0 win over Arsenal one week, a wretched 0-1 defeat to Norwich the next.

But Leicester's season has been one of all ups really, and seeing as they are the undoubted surprise package of the season, we asked our writers:

Who has been the biggest Saints surprise this season?

Tommy Scott

I'll pick Shane Long. Coming to Southampton, Saints were laughed at for spending such a high price for Long who really hadn't scored too many goals. Last season he was a depth player at the least, and fans really questioned the board on that one. This season though, he's been huge. He's taken advantage of getting starts and playing time. He's a huge problem for defenses with his pace and work rate and has even been able to find the goal a few times. He's justified his price tag in my eyes and would really enjoy him and Austin up top next season.

Jake Hughes

Just to change it up, I think you could say the biggest surprise this season was the importance of Fraser Forster's presence in the first team.

I know he has since made a couple of errors, but the impact of Forster's return - culminating in six consecutive clean sheets, five wins and a draw from said games - really took me by surprise.

We simply wouldn't be in our present Premier League position if it wasn't for that run of games in January/February.

Daniel Vaughan

Just that we haven't done an Aston Villa yet... Reading their long list of players they have sold over the years (for good prices) makes grim reading. So really, it's that our replacements have done so well to date. Especially Romeu, Long and van Dijk - who has been exceptional and I hope we keep him!

Dan Noutch

I think the importance of Fraser Forster has been a huge surprise but I'll go for Oriol Romeu.

The signing of Romeu caught many by surprise but I think for the £5m we paid for him, we've got ourselves a bargain. He's been one of our best players this season I think and has gone largely under the radar.

Midfield additions were key in the summer considering the seemingly irreplaceable Morgan Schneiderlin deservedly moved on. Clasie's taken time to find his feet but I think Romeu has been great and he's surprised me.

He reads the game well, efficient in his work, seems to put everything into each game and it's good to have a variety of options in midfield.

Paul Johnson

This is a tough one. I've narrowed it down to best of three.

Firstly, the quality of Virgil. He's been brilliant, and whilst I was expecting him to be decent, I didn't think he'd hit the ground running and become our anchor straight away. Keeping him has to be a priority this summer.

Secondly, I think our season as a whole has been constant surprises. I had hoped for big things this season, only for us to fall out the blocks and hobble through the early part of the season. Once we got going, I started to believe again, before that was dashed again. At this stage, every weekend is a surprise, as we're so inconsistent it's impossible to predict who will show up.

Finally, the signing of Charlie Austin. I didn't expect it,and I didn't expect such a good deal. Amazing!

George Galpin

I'll make a confession: I did not rate Shane Long. For the money spent, I was looking for something a bit more than "works hard, quite quick, poor first touch".

However, this season he has been immense. His movement is very good and his defensive work-rate is something that we all knew about, and yes his touch can be a little unpredictable still.

But he has scored goals, he has given Saints an ability to play more direct, and he is a player you'd rather have on your team than playing against you.

He tore Koscielny and Mertesacker a new one, which says how good he can be.