Saints will look to appoint a player trading expert to replace Ross Wilson who has quit the club to move to Glasgow Rangers.

Wilson, who had been director of football operations at St Mary’s, has officially left Saints to head north of the border after four years on the south coast and is expected to take up a similar role at Ibrox.

Wilson stepped into the breach to fill the void in football operations left by the departure of Les Reed, who had previously been his boss at Saints.

But with Wilson keen to take on the challenge at Rangers and Saints also understood to want a fresh start under the leadership of Martin Semmens, the pathway to his switch has been relatively smooth.

During Wilson’s time at the club there has been a mixed record in player recruitment, though it has always been unclear where credit and blame lies between Reed, Wilson and the manager of the day.

The obvious highs were the signings of the likes of Virgil van Dijk, and the profit they made on his sale, and more recently Moussa Djenepo.

But given that Saints have been struggling against relegation for the past two years and recruited a number of expensive flops such as Guido Carrillo, Mario Lemina and Wesley Hoedt, the recruitment policy appears to have gone well off the rails.

With a change at the top of the club under the guidance of Semmens there is a desire to get back to the ‘Southampton Way’, and to replace Wilson with the right person to drive forward a refreshed vision of the club.

The Daily Echo understands that Saints are comfortable with the structure they have and the personnel leading the other areas of the club, but feel they need a proven expert in player trading.

There is clearly much work to be done to the squad to restore Saints to a team regularly battling for the top ten, starting with shifting on a large amount of deadwood while also trying to bring in enough quality within their budget to improve.

Saints remain committed to manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and are fully bought into his plans and vision for the squad and are now seeking the right person to deliver for him.

Owner Gao Jisheng is understood to be fully behind this new direction for Saints and there is a general acceptance that it will take a number of transfer windows to make the full extent of changes that are needed to have Hasenhuttl’s new look Saints look to the future with renewed optimism following some tricky times at St Mary’s.