David Moyes hopes Rickie Lambert does not register his 11th goal of the season when Everton visit Saints tonight, but the Toffees boss is encouraged to see the striker doing so well.
Lambert has spent most of his career in the lower leagues with the likes of Macclesfield, Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers, but has had no trouble adjusting to the top level.
The 30-year-old's 10 goals make him the joint leading English goalscorer in the Barclays Premier League along with Tottenham's Jermain Defoe, leading to talk of a possible England call-up.
Moyes said: "Like a lot of the Southampton players who have moved up through the leagues, he's done very well.
"Some of them have gone the distance with them, some of them have joined in as they've gone along but I think they've tended to keep the soul of the club.
"Rickie Lambert's been a great goalscorer through his career and he continues to do so."
Players working their way up to the top flight through the leagues have become increasingly rare, but Lambert is not the only one.
Norwich's Grant Holt and Adam Le Fondre of Reading have both made their mark at Premier League level, and Moyes hopes there will be others following in their footsteps.
He said: "I think it's something we have to try to embrace because if not we're going to be going abroad trying to buy all the players, or maybe clubs such as Everton and Southampton have got them all in their academy systems now.
"I'm now quite sure that's true and I do think it would be great if we were still able to bring in players from the lower leagues.
"We went and got Tim Cahill, Andy Johnson and Joleon Lescott and I think people got the message that we're trying to pick up players from lower down if we can."