Southampton transfers: The stellar list of footballers who have been prised away from the south coast club
Gareth Bale needs no introduction. The world-class forward, who retired in January after a spell in the US, had a successful career at both Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid.
He first emerged from Southampton’s youth team in 2006, making an immediate impact as a left-back, before transitioning to the attacking role where he became globally renowned. He was soon snapped up by Tottenham in 2007, before setting the world transfer record with a move to Real Madrid in 2013.
Southampton’s youth system has been a particular conveyor belt of talented English players. The quintessential example is Theo Walcott, who caught the attention of the football world at the age of 16. His lightening pace and unflinching finishing skills saw him secure a move to Arsenal in 2006, where he spent over a decade before moving to Everton and then returning to Southampton.
Another English player to emerge from Southampton's academy is Adam Lallana. He became an integral part of the club, helping them rise from League One to the Premier League. His consistent performances earned him a move to Liverpool in 2014, where he won both the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League. In 2020, Lallana moved to Brighton and has shown no signs of slowing down.
The list would not be complete without mentioning Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Another Southampton youth product, 'The Ox' joined Arsenal in 2011, then secured a move in 2017 to Liverpool. Injuries have played a key role in minimising his appearances and the club let him go at the end of last season.
Luke Shaw is another notable mention. His impressive performances as a left-back for Southampton earned him a highly publicised transfer to Manchester United in 2014. Despite initial struggles due to injuries, Shaw has now established himself as one of the top left-backs in England and played a pivotal role for England.
Finally we must mention Virgil van Dijk. Although not a youth product, his performances for Southampton from 2015 to 2018 were so impressive that they earned him a record-breaking transfer for £75m to Liverpool, where he emerged as one of the world’s top defenders.
That journey from St Mary's to Anfield could soon be repeated by Romeo Lavia
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