Southampton FC is one of the most storied football clubs in the English top flight for the longest time. They have had awesome players for a long time which is why they need to be highlighted. People should recognise that the Saints produce talented players.
Southampton is also well-known for their foreign recruitment as they find diamonds in the rough that turn into star players. They don’t stay long-term with the Saints but they earn tons of money with those transfers. Look at the likes of now-Liverpool stalwarts, Sadio Mané and Virgil van Dijk who were all awesome for Southampton back in the day.
Despite their reputation for recruiting and selling top-tier stars, they have produced some big stars as well. If you look into the Southampton sponsor, you will see that the Saints know what they’re doing with their business and their player development matters in that area as well. Now, let’s take a look at the players who can be considered the biggest stars in Southampton FC’s long history.
Matt Le Tissier
When it comes to Southampton legends, you should always look at Matt Le Tessier as one of the biggest names. He was a talented midfielder during his time with the Saints from 1986 to 2002. Le Tessier was a talented attacking midfielder who had an eye for the goal. He always put himself in good attacking positions and paired with his solid vision, he was an offensive star.
While not the best athlete, Le Tissier’s skill set favoured his methodical approach to football. He always had solid control and balance which helped him to dictate the game’s pace. He was also a supreme set-piece taker, especially during penalty kicks. He was accurate from the spot for a long time because he only missed one penalty out of 48 attempts during his Saints career.
Fans of other clubs wanted Le Tissier to leave the Saints because they wanted him on their squad. The Guernsey-born midfielder did not adhere to their desires because he only wanted to play for Southampton. He had a successful stint with the Saints and he is rightfully known as one of the best players in the club’s history.
While mostly known as the star for both Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, Shearer got his professional career started with his time with Southampton. He played from 1988 to 1992 with the Saints where he managed to score 43 goals in his 158 appearances. That was just a relatively short stint compared to Le Tisser but Shearer made an impact and proved that he was set to be a stellar striker for a long time.
He ended up being the top goal-scorer in Premier League history with his time on the two other clubs. However, that should take away from his times with the Saints where he can be considered one of the best players to ever wear their shirt.
As a Yugoslavian national, Ivan Golac was one of the first foreign recruits that Southampton made. Even back in the 1970s and 1980s, the Saints proved that they had a good eye for recruiting overseas players. He is one of the best players to ever don a Saints shirt because he played well as a right-back.
He was more of an offensively-inclined full-back which is more in tune with the modern wing-back that we see. Golac was stellar during his two stints with the Saints with that wing-back style which was a breath of fresh air for English fans since they mostly played with the traditional roles without adding a new dimension to their style.
These are just a few of the best players that the Saints have to offer. You can look at the Southampton sponsor and see that they have a long list of star players. That further proves that the Saints are a strong club that will last for a long time.
Another talented footballer who could be regarded as Southampton’s greatest ever player is James Ward-Prowse. Ward-Prowse was part of Southampton’s youth teams, before he made his first-team debut for the club in October 2011, and signed his first professional contract in May 2012. He rose to become a key player for Southampton, and was appointed as captain in June 2020. James has made over 300 appearances for the club, and is currently one of the best set-piece takers in football.