Ronald Koeman says the signing of Fraser Forster was a very important acquisition for Southampton last summer.
Forster joined from Scottish champions Celtic to become the club’s number one goalkeeper, and shone throughout the campaign before picking up an injury against Burnley in March.
The 27 year-old kept 13 clean sheets before his injury, meaning he finished joint-second in the race for the Golden Glove and Koeman was full of praise for the stopper.
“I think the goalkeeper, Fraser Forster, was a very important signing for the club,” Koeman said. “A really good goalkeeper, an international goalkeeper.
“He’s not the oldest which means we have a long time that we can have Fraser as our goalkeeper. That gave the team confidence.
“He played a big part in all the clean sheets in the first part of the season. That was an important one.
“Don’t think I forgot the rest of the players because Graziano Pellè did a great job this season. Dušan Tadić, still with his groin problem, was a very good signing.”
Koeman also feels that keeping hold of Morgan Schneiderlin was important for the club’s success, adding: “Morgan, in a difficult situation, finally stayed this season.
“He showed his qualities during the big part of the season. That was important.”
Having had a season to adapt to the Premier League, Koeman believes the likes of Pellè, Tadič and Sadio Mané will only get better next time around.
“For them it’s good experience to know what happens in the Premier League, how strong the league is,” Koeman said.
“They know how difficult and how tough the league is about the physical stage for the players. It’s a long season.
“Like Graziano and José Fonte, they are new international players, that makes it more difficult. They are strong, good people with good personalities. It will be good for them this experience.
“Graziano, Dusan, Toby [Alderweireld] and Sadio will have a good experience about their first season in the Premier League.”