Southampton relegated: Clearout predicted with Ward-Prowse future immediately questioned as captain offers first response
Southampton have been relegated from the Premier League following a 2-0 defeat to Fulham on Saturday.
With two games remaining in their season, Southampton now have no mathematical chance of escaping the bottom three. Therefore, they will be back in the Championship next season after 11 consecutive campaigns in the top flight.
It will lead to plenty of uncertainty about their key players, some of whom remain Premier League standard. Captain James Ward-Prowse and fellow midfielder Romeo Lavia should be among those to attract attention from top-flight clubs.
After their fate was sealed, midfielder Ward-Prowse told BBC Sport Final Score: “Disappointing. It has been coming. We knew we were in a difficult position.
“We need to go away individually and as a club and assess if we’ve done everything we possibly could. I don’t think we have and that is a shame.
“I think as a team and a club overall we’ll think about the season that has gone by. Have decisions been right? Have we done everything we could on a pitch?
“I think we should perform at a better level than we have done. From the first day of the season until now you can tell the standards have slipped.”
Ward-Prowse has already been linked with a transfer to either Man Utd, Newcastle or Tottenham.
The England international added: “I’m not thinking too far ahead. We’ve just been relegated form the Premier League. I’m not looking beyond tomorrow.
“It’s about sticking together and dealing with it in the right way. Over the last 10 years we have had that kind of consistency and that has wavered. It will be testing for everybody but these are the times that make you as a player and as a club, we have done it before and we will do it again.”
Keown suggests Southampton ‘clear out’
His future will be one of the biggest issues for Southampton to sort out over the summer, as highlighted by Martin Keown.
Keown told Football Focus: “It has been a proud record for Southampton bringing players through the academy but it just isn’t enough. They might need a big clearout.
“You look at teams that have come back from the Championship and they have a core. What is the core of this Southampton side? Is James Ward-Prowse going stay?
“It’s going to be difficult.”
A managerial change should also follow at St. Mary’s Stadium, where Ruben Selles has been overseeing first-team activities since the sacking of Nathan Jones, who in turn had replaced Ralph Hasenhuttl earlier in the season.
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