Mauricio Pellegrino believes Saints got “unlucky” in the January transfer window.

The Saints boss admitted he had hoped to make more than just one signing after the £75m sale of Virgil van Dijk was announced at the end of December.

Though Saints did break their club record transfer fee to bring in £19.2m striker Guido Carrillo there were no further arrivals at St Mary’s.

Saints had also targeted an attacking midfielder, and initially went after Theo Walcott but lost out to Everton.

They then turned their attentions to Quincy Promes.

After refusing to pay his entire release clause upfront, they came to a compromise with Spartak Moscow, and the player was understood to be ready to join, but the Russian club pulled out, citing difficulties in getting a replacement.

When asked if he had expected more than one arrival after the early sale of van Dijk, Pellegrino replied: “I think so but I think we were a little bit unlucky in some aspects.

“Why? Because some players really close and at the end the other part of the negotiation say no.

“January when every single day that is passing and you have to bring important players the other club needs time to move and replace him.

“Little by little it is getting worse and bringing players with capacity is not easy.”

January proved a testing transfer window for many Premier League clubs who started off with grand plans but ultimately struggled to get more than one or two players through the door.

Pellegrino certainly sensed it was a particularly difficult market.

“Obviously every single squad can improve with other players but it’s not too easy to choose one player and bring them into the squad,” he admitted.

“In the last two years I think the market changed a lot after Pogba and Neymar.

“The market is huge and every single player from South America and Asia the transfer fees are massive.

“Some player we can but others we cannot.

“If we bring somebody else it is because we are sure he can improve our squad, otherwise what is the point?”

Pellegrino brought on his sole January signing, Carrillo, at half time in the draw with Brighton, and is now readying him for a first start at West Brom.

“We test him and talk to him about this possibility but with the staff we arrive to the conclusion he is 30 or 45 minutes and ready for Saturday,” he reported.

“In Monaco he didn’t train the last two weeks, training alone, and it’s not the same. Just for this reason.”