Saints ended the January transfer window as one of the biggest spenders in English football.

Alan Pardew splashed a total estimated to be just short of £2m on four players during January - which put Saints just outside the top ten in the spending tables of the country's 92 professional clubs.

It highlights the investment being made in the club by billionaire owner Markus Liebherr and is even more impressive when you consider that only two outfits outside of the cash-rich Premier League outspent Saints.

They were Newcastle who look highly likely to bounce back to the top flight at the first time of asking and Middlesbrough who received the biggest transfer fee of the January window.

Pardew recruited Jose Fonte, Lee Barnard, Dan Seaborne and Jason Puncheon for fees believed to total just short of £2m in January. He also signed Jon Otsemobor on a free.

It took Pardew's total spending since joining Saints to around £3m.

The January figure is particularly impressive given that the economic climate made this a much more subdued window than normal.

It is estimated that less than £40m was spent in total across English football this January compared with £170m last year and £150m in January 2008.

The biggest transfer fee, believed to be about £7m, was spent by Manchester City on recruiting Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson.

The Premier League sides who spent more than Saints were Burnley (Danny Fox, Leon Cort), Manchester United (Chris Smalling), Birmingham (Craig Garner, Michel), Wigan (Gary Caldwell Vcitor Moses), Manchester City (Patrick Vieira, Adam Johnson), Stoke (Asmir Begovic), Sunderland (Matthew Kilgallon), Tottenham (Younes Kaboul) and West Ham (Benni McCarthy).

Newcastle spent their money on Danny Simpson as well as former Saints duo Mike Williamson and Leon Best.

Middlesbrough, managed by ex-Saints boss Gordon Strachan, splashed out on deadline day on Scott McDonald - the man he released from St Mary's for nothing before later signing him for £700,000 at Celtic and now at the Riverside - and Aberdeen's Lee Miller. They signed a total of seven players during the window - including five from Celtic.

Saints' financial muscle was too much for even League One sides such as Norwich and Leeds to compete with as well as the vast majority of the Championship.

It gives Pardew a terrific squad to select from but does increase the pressure and expectation surrounding the side.

Pardew is still aiming for a crack at the play-offs this season, believed to be what those running the club are gunning for after a big cash outlay, while most supporters will be content to wait until next season, when Saints will not start on minus ten, and hope to win the league.

The only players to permanently leave during the transfer window were Matt Paterson, who went to Southend as part of the Barnard deal, and Marek Saganowski who moved to Greece on a free.

Ollie Lancashire has rejoined Grimsby on loan for the rest of the season.

The centre half was recalled from his spell at Grimsby earlier in the month as defensive cover and made two sub appearances but will now finish the season in the north.