It’s hard to imagine one of Saints’ Premier League stars finding themselves on the bench next season but Jack Cork will be wondering whether that fate may befall him.
The signing of Victor Wanyama has been greeted by much enthusiasm and excitement at Saints, not exactly surprising given the £12m they spent on him.
The Kenyan can play in a variety of positions, but is widely accepted to be at his best as a powerhouse central midfielder.
As such it is only natural that his new teammates may wonder whose place he is going to take in the side.
Of course, competition for places is never a bad thing, and you need cover for injuries and suspensions, but Morgan Schneiderlin and Cork are looking over their shoulders now.
At £12m Wanyama is not likely to be occupying the bench for long periods at the start of the campaign and that can mean only one thing for somebody who considered themselves a first team regular last season.
What we cannot be certain about is whether Mauricio Pochettino will employ the same formation as last season, though it seems more likely than not that he will.
What we also cannot be certain about is that he is totally sold on using Wanyama in one of the two central midfield holding roles, though it seems more likely than not that he will.
There is little doubt Saints needed extra cover for Schneiderlin and Cork.
As superb as they were last season Saints were very much indebted to good fortune at keeping them fit for the majority of the campaign after Cork returned from an early injury lay off.
The only cover beyond that was Steven Davis, and he has proved that he can compete for a place further forward.
So to have three for that position and Davis as an emergency extra option looks much better, but the obvious maths is that they cannot all start.
It was a fine season for Schneiderlin and Cork. Arguably they were the stars of the show.
Schneiderlin deservedly lifted the Daily Echo player of the season award as the fans recognised his immense contribution.
Cork came third in that poll as his return from injury correlated directly with the moment Saints’ season turned for the better and they never looked back.
Now there is a new guy on the block, and he’s something of a superstar signing too.
The reason that it seems more likely that Cork is under threat than Schneidelrin is that Wanyama is not known for his passing ability.
That’s not to say he cannot do it, in the same way that Cork can too, but Schneiderlin very much is known as a cultured player who often provides that link between defence and attack.
Saints would not be the same team without that, while Cork provides very much an engine room presence, something which Wanyama has built his reputation upon too.
Therefore it seems more likely that it would be Cork to make way.
It would be extremely harsh, but also the nature of progress.
Whether Cork can turn that view around before the start of the season given the fanfare and cost of Wanyama’s arrival is hard to see.
But he can hope to get his place back in the longer term as he competes for a slot.
It’s a brutal truth of football that you should never stand still, and that sometimes can hurt the players that helped you get to where you are.
Strength in depth is what every club needs, but every player knows exactly what it means.
Not everybody can play and the test for Pochettino if he is able to replicate this across the squad will be keeping everybody happy.