Saints retain plenty of room for manoeuvre in the transfer market this summer, despite having to name a 25-man squad for the coming season.
Manager Nigel Adkins has already made four captures ahead of the Premier League campaign, with Jay Rodriguez,
Steven Davis, Nathaniel Clyne and Paulo Gazzaniga all arriving at St Mary’s.
Under Premier League rules, the Saints boss must name a 25-man squad from which he can pick for the coming season.
That task is made easier, though, as players classified as being under-21 do not count towards the list.
New keeper Gazzaniga, 20, obviously falls into that category, and so does right-back Clyne, despite already being 21.
A player is deemed to be ‘under-21’ if they were 20-years-old or younger on January 1 in the year in which the relevant season commences.
In other words, anyone who was born on or after January 1, 1991, will be considered to be an ‘under-21’ player for the new campaign. Clyne was born in April 1991.
With that in mind, Saints currently have 24 senior players on their books.
But three of those – Lee Barnard , Ryan Dickson and Jonathan
Forte – have not travelled on the pre-season tour, making it unlikely that they will make the final cut.
That would take the number down to 21, leaving room for four more signings before having to even consider leaving out anyone else.
Saints must also make sure that at least eight of the players on their squad list qualify as ‘home-grown’.
The definition of that is a player who, irrespective of nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the FA, or the FA of Wales, for a period of three seasons or 36 months
prior to his 21st birthday – whether that period is continuous or not.
Saints have no concerns in that department.
The club will only be allowed to make changes to their squad list during the transfer windows.