ADAM Lallana is glad he didn’t quit Saints in the dark days of the club’s administration.
Stars such as Andrew Surman and David McGoldrick were sold in the summer of 2009 while a new owner was found for the club.
Wolves were keen on signing Lallana, but the current St Mary’s skipper is delighted that he stayed put.
Had he also left, he might not have been an England international looking ahead to a possible World Cup finals place.
“I might not be here today if I'd left when Southampton went into administration,” the 25-year-old said.
“We were relegated with -10 points and there was talk of liquidation.
“We didn't get paid one month.
“Those were the dark days, but it's been great ever since."
Lallana has been key to Saints’ ascent through the leagues and he has also reaped the benefits himself.
The midfielder was appointed club captain upon Saints’ promotion to the Barclays Premier League and he then won his first England caps against Chile and Germany.
Of the players on the fringes of Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad, he seems one of the players who is more likely to make the final 23.
That has had one downside though - he had to cancel a wedding that was planned for June 14 - the day of England's World Cup opener against Italy.
Lallana had to bring the date forward six months, treating his now wife Emily to a £500 wedding in Poole on Christmas Eve.
“I was planning a wedding for the summer when there was a chance I might not be there," he said.
“We had a great day. It was a mutual decision. If anything, it's less stress for me.
“I can just concentrate on doing as well as I can now. If selected for the World Cup, the honeymoon will be after. But there's still a long way to go.”
Lallana cut a relaxed figure as he spoke to the media at England's Hertfordshire base.
Following two impressive performances for the Three Lions, he does not look or feel out of place within the international set-up.
Like the other 29 members of Hodgson's squad, Lallana took part in a photoshoot for England's new World Cup kit.
The appearance of the kit is so secret that organisers draped a huge black curtain around the room where the shoot was taking place.
Photos of the supposed new kit - which is expected to be all white due to new FIFA regulations - have been leaked online, but no official details have been released yet.
Lallana and the rest of his team-mates were also fitted with a grey Marks and Spencer suit which he will wear to South America if he makes the cut.
All this has whetted Lallana's appetite for the World Cup and he will do everything he can to impress Hodgson during this week's get together for the friendly against Denmark tomorrow.
"This is the last chance we'll have to impress in an England shirt, so it is going to be a big night," Lallana said.
“I'll do everything I can to prove my worth.
“Having the chance, the slight chance of maybe going to a World Cup, is quite remarkable.”
Lallana did not train yesterday morning but he is sure he will be fit to face the Danes.
Andros Townsend, Steven Caulker and John Ruddy all underwent a light recovery as they played on Sunday.
Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker is almost certain to miss the game with a hip problem.