SAINTS manager Ralph Hasenhuttl makes honest admission about their transfer policy under Gao Jisheng, confessing: “We have no owner who gives us a lot of money to sign players.”

The summer transfer window has well and truly been and gone now, although thanks to the international break, deadline day was the last bit of Saints action and is fresh in the mind.

Hasenhuttl has admitted that the club were forced to sell talisman Danny Ings and defender Jannik Vestergaard, who amassed a total of £45million, in order to make any additions themselves.

Saints looked to make shrewd acquisitions in their place, not spending all the sums directly on replacements but replenishing the squad elsewhere at the same time – and doing it with future potential in mind.

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They did this with Adam Armstrong costing half of the Ings fee, while Brazilian centre-back Lyanco was also a cheaper, younger alternative than the outgoing man in defence.

The money saved, although not all put back into transfers, allowed them to invest in the likes of youngster Theirry Small, whilst covering the fees they had outlayed for Tino Livramento and Romain Perraud.

While it could well be wise business, it was a strategy the club had to undertake with Hasenhuttl saying ahead of the West Ham fixture: "Strengthening in every position was the conversation that had and it was the big topic of the summer.

"I think that the signings definitely did this. We have a few luxury problems now but we will need them for later in the season, we learned that last season when we found ourselves short on alternatives.

Daily Echo: Owner Gao Jisheng wants Saints transfer hierarchy to spend within its means (Pic: Stuart Martin)Owner Gao Jisheng wants Saints transfer hierarchy to spend within its means (Pic: Stuart Martin)

"We tried to extend the group and I have been happy with the work that we did in the summer. We did nearly everything that we wanted to do.”

He added: “It helped us massively that we got a lot of money for Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard, this was crucial for us to be active in the transfer market as we have no owner who gives us a lot of money to sign players.

"We have to sell players if we want to buy new ones. I think with that we did a good job this summer."

All in all, Saints made eight transfer arrivals during the summer window and also secured captain James Ward-Prowse a surprise new contract that keeps him at the club until 2026.

But it sounds like Hasenhuttl and CEO Martin Semmens are forced to work wisely and economically under the club’s owner.