Few football supporters envy Southampton fans at the moment.
A nervous disposition has every St Mary’s goer racked; picking up a newspaper and accessing the internet now has the same effect as watching a scary film in the dark with all the lights off, the scream-inducing bits taking the form of which of their terrace heroes are being courted by bigger fish.
Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana, along with manager Mauricio Pochettino have all found employment elsewhere, while Dejan Lovren, Jose Fonte and Morgan Schneiderlin are repeatedly being linked with moves away.
As a result of the mass exodus, the Saints have been trimmed into 6/1 to be relegated in the 2014/15 campaign.
But despite the current lack of replacements, new boss Ronald Koeman is busy radioing for back up and, if he lands his top two targets, everything will end up hunky dory for the candy-striped club.
Master defence locksmith Dusan Tadic is the man he wants parachuting in to replace former skipper Lallana, while Italian marksman Graziano Pelle is who Koeman sees as the shape to fill the massive Lambert hole in his frontline.
Twente star Tadic bagged an uber-impressive 16 goals from an attacking-midfield berth in the Eredivisie last term, complimenting this tally with 14 assists.
He averaged four key passes per outing for the Dutch league’s third-placed side and he was accurate with just under 80 per cent of his passes.
Lallana’s dribbling and artistry in possession was extensively utilised in Southampton attacks in 2013/14, but Tadic’s combined contribution to Twente’s goals for column of 30 dwarfs the 15 (nine strikes, six assists) the England man provided.
Goal records amassed in the Eredivisie must be taken with a pinch of salt, but the Saints faithful needn’t rue their Lambert loss if the Italian Pelle follows Tadic.
He struck 23 times in 28 appearances for Feyenoord last time around, creating six more for teammates on top of conjuring a staggering 51 further chances.
Goals made and opportunities fashioned combined, Lambert falls short of this mark by four, while his 13 net-bulgers are comfortably bested by Pelle’s tally too.
Should both sign (for reported figures far lower than the amount of money they’ve been receiving for sold assets) then prospective relegation backers should be looking to place their faith in the even money about Southampton nailing a second successive top-ten finish next term.