THE Saints FC Team of the Decade, as voted for by more than 21,000 readers via, can be revealed.

Fittingly, the chosen XI includes five players who were part of the club’s journey from League One to the Premier League under Nigel Adkins, while Mauricio Pochettino pipped Ronald Koeman to the fans’ manager of the decade vote for what he achieved in his 14 months at St Mary’s.

The XI has been selected in a 4-2-3-1 line-up, the club’s formation for much of the decade.


Kelvin Davis

No-one at St Mary’s has experienced the ups and downs at Saints FC more.

Having been signed by George Burley in 2006, he was a tower of strength during administration and relegation from the Championship and then captained Saints in their journey from the bottom of League One at the start of the decade back to the Premier League.

He began the 2010s by leading the club to the 2010 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley before keeping 20 clean sheets as an ever-present – a post-war record for the club – during the promotion from League One.

He was voted into the PFA’s League One Team of the Year and also made the Championship Team a year later as Saints clinched back-to-back promotions.

In 268 appearances for the club across the top three divisions, his greatest Saints performance came in a 1-0 win at Leeds United in March 2012.

Still a hugely popular figure at the club, he has been a first-team coach for the last year and stood in as caretaker manager briefly before Ralph Hasenhuttl’s appointment.


Nathaniel Clyne

Signed by Nigel Adkins from Crystal Palace following promotion back to the Premier League in the summer of 2012, the right-back proved an astute signing as Danny Butterfield’s replacement.

Provided pace and defensive nous under Adkins, Pochettino and then Ronald Koeman, under whom his performances were rewarded with an England call-up.

Made 104 appearances for the club before moving to Liverpool for £12.5m midway through Ronald Koeman’s two-year spell at St Mary’s.

Currently on loan at AFC Bournemouth, he has been beset by injuries in recent years but is fondly remembered by Saints fans.

No other players received as big a share of any of the seven votes as the 86 per cent he received.


Virgil van Dijk

Despite the controversial end to his Saints career, the world’s best centre-back was voted the club’s best of the decade, with 46 per cent of the vote.

Signed from Celtic for £11.5m in September 2015, he helped Saints finish sixth in the Premier League under his compatriot Ronald Koeman in his first season.

But in January 2018, after 80 appearances for Saints, he was sold to Liverpool for a £75m – a world record fee for a defender.

Jose Fonte

Another player who journeyed with Saints from League One to the Premier League after signing from Crystal Palace for a bargain £800,000 in January 2010.

Spent the following seven years at St Mary’s, firstly as a member of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy-winning team, before playing a key role in both promotions and then excelling in the Premier League. His Saints form earned him most of his 42 caps for Portugal and a European Championship winner’s medal in 2016, before he moved to West Ham a year later. Currently playing for Lille in Ligue One. Won 44 per cent of the Daily Echo readers’ centre-back vote.


Ryan Bertrand

The only member of the current squad to make this XI, the left-back won the vote for his position with 61 per cent of the vote ahead of Luke Shaw (36 per cent). Signed for £10m in February 2015, he was a key player under the team that finished sixth under Ronald Koeman and has gone on to make 157 appearances in nearly five years with the club.

As well as his outstanding defending, his overlapping runs and crosses have been a key feature of Saints at their best during the last half of the decade.

Has won most of his 19 England caps as a Saints player.


Victor Wanyama

The first Kenyan to play in the Premier League provided an awesome presence in front of the Saints back four after he signed from Celtic for £12.5m in July 2013.

Was hampered by injuries during Mauricio Pochettino’s full season at the helm but excelled under Ronald Koeman before Poch re-signed him for Tottenham in the summer of 2016.

Morgan Schneiderlin

Joined Saints as an 18 year-old in June 2008 before going on to make 231 appearances for the club in all competitions.

Recommneded to the club by former youth-team coach Georges Prost, he developed his game in League One and the Championship before excelling in the Premier League

Won the Saints fans’ and players’ player of the year award after the club’s first season back in the top flight.

Made 260 appearances for the club before leaving for Manchester United for £25m at the end of Ronald Koeman’s first season. He would be reunited with Koeman at Goodison Park 18 months later and remains an Everton player.


Sadio Mane

An electrifying presence during Ronald Koeman’s two seasons with the club, after signing from Red Bull Salzburg for £11.5m in September 2014.

Scored 25 goals in 72 appearances for Saints, including a hat-trick in a 4-2 win against Manchester City in his penultimate appearance in the red and white at St Mary’s. Created many more with his pace and trickery.

The Senegalese was sold to Liverpool for £34m in the summer of 2016, since when he has gone from strength to strength. Won 33 per cent of the vote.

Dusan Tadic

Saints’ first signing under Ronald Koeman, for £10.9m from Dutch outfit Twente, was a delight to watch during his four seasons at St Mary’s.

A creator of goals par excellence, he also scored 23 in 162 appearances for the club, before signing for Ajax in the summer of 2018. His quality was appreciated on a bigger stage last season as he inspired Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals. Received 27 per cent of the vote, as did Adam Lallana.

Adam Lallana

Another key player in the club’s rise from League One and another from this XI who moved to Liverpool, Lallana is also the only homegrown player to make the Daily Echo readers’ team of the decade.

Graduated from the academy before developing his game in League One and the Championship. Then excelled in the club’s first two seasons back in the Premier League, before moving to Liverpool for £25m in the summer of 2014.


Rickie Lambert

With only one striker’s place available, the Saints great was a predictably comfortable winner, with 81 per cent of the vote.

His performances during Saints’ rise from the foot of League One to the Premier League are the stuff of legend. Signed for £1m by Alan Pardew in 2009, he scored 117 goals from 235 appearances during his five years with the club, including 57 in League One and 31 in the Championship as Saints clinched back-to-back promotions.

After netting another 29 in the club’s first two season in the Premier League, he moved to Liverpool for £4m in June 2014, but will always be revered at St Mary’s.


Mauricio Pochettino

‘POCH’ pipped Ronald Koeman by winning 38 per cent of the vote to the 36 preferring the Dutchman, for the impact he made in his 18 months with the club. He is credited with taking Saints to the next level after the controversial sacking of Nigel Adkins, progress that was continued by Koeman.