Whether it was a case of shop window or chances for the future at Saints, there were a few players who didn’t make the overwhelming case they might have hoped at West Ham.

Of course, the headline was Fraser Forster returning to the starting line-up after 494 days out, but it was about more than that.

Moi Elyounoussi, who has been out of the team far more than in it since a big money move last summer, was also handed a rare starting berth.

Then there were a few others who have played a bit but who you imagine are on edge with regards their futures.

If that’s the case then it was far from ideal to suffer such a lacklustre defeat as Saints did at West Ham.

The performance in general smacked of a team who had secured safety and were now counting down to their summer holidays.

There will surely be a better display in the final home game of the campaign, but this one, on the road, and against a team with some quality players, was really below par.

Some make the argument that you shouldn’t experiment in these games. After all, not only is there the considerable fillip of around £2m per place to play for, but fans pay top dollar for tickets and travel and deserve to see the first choice team playing at their best in a competitive Premier League fixture.

But Ralph Hasenhuttl has big decisions to make. Saints need a major overhaul of their first team squad this summer.

Despite Hasenhuttl saying he believes less than ten players need to be moved on, it’s hard to really see how that maths adds up, especially if Saints want to make a few additions and avoid having an even more bloated squad.

And so there should have been players with a lot to play for.

Either they needed to show Hasenhuttl they can do a job for him next season and that they don’t deserved to be culled, or they needed to prove to any watching scouts that they might be worth a punt.

What transpired was not too much of either.

In fairness, maybe a few of those weren’t massively aided by some of their much safer teammates who didn’t appear to be really busting a gut. When you don’t play much it’s a difficult situation and you would want to be coming into the Saints side that has shown such intensity in recent months rather than this one.

But there were some there whose heads were on the chopping block and now have a summer of uncertainty to contend with.

Then, too, do Saints.

Because if Hasenhuttl comes to the conclusion he doesn’t want some of his players – and that doesn’t just include those who figured at West Ham with many more out of the team and away on loan – but other clubs don’t either then it’s difficult.

Difficult to sell them, and, therefore, difficult to generate the funds and free up the space to buy new players.