Opinion: Are Southampton falling behind their Premier League rivals in the transfer market?

It's set to be another record-breaking transfer window for the Premier League as clubs continue to inject their stashes of cash into players to fulfil their ambitions of one day competing at the highest level, however, one such club who have been mildly quiet up this point is Southampton.

The Saints narrowly missed out position wise on a place in the Europa League, despite being adrift by fifteen points in the end to seventh-placed Everton.

Manager Mauricio Pellegrino has kept himself hidden away since being appointed boss of this highly-prospective group of players, but in order to continue competing for a spot in the top seven he must invest in his playing squad or be forced to scrap out for mid-table limbo in the upcoming campaign.

Who have Southampton's rivals brought in?

If we're discussing target ambitions, then the Saints should consider the likes of determined West Ham United and pioneering Everton - two outfits who've struggled to stay out of the limelight this summer.

The Toffees have spent the best part of £100 million to rise up the table, although this would have been the inevitable following the arrival of a trustworthy shareholder. Ronald Koeman has accumulated no less than ten additions to his ranks ahead of the season, with the Dutchman's most staggering business being the return of England top goal scorer Wayne Rooney.

It isn't just the significant numbers either, it's the calibre of their arrivals alongside that. Michael Keane, one of the initial signings, was being eyed by title-hopefuls Manchester United and Davy Klaassen is easily the most recognisable talent to come out of Ajax's infamous youth set up in recent times.

Meanwhile, Slaven Bilić at West Ham has gone for quality over quantity and their signings just show the intent the Hammers are showing. They've also arguably picked up one of the snatches of the summer after penning former Manchester United man
Javier Hernández to a deal at the London Stadium.

Whilst shot-stopper Joe Hart has largely been criticised for his far-too-often slip-ups in the top-flight, his loan spell for Torino in Italy last term would have magnificently helped him improve and become a permanent figure elsewhere away from Manchester City.

It's somewhat astounding to a number of the acquisitions these clubs are making and, in my opinion, Southampton are lagging behind.

​If Europe is the target, who should Pellegrino be pursuing between now and deadline day?

It has seemingly become obvious that Southampton have been somewhat distracted by the transfer saga surrounding in-demand centre-half Virgil van Dijk, which, if speculation is to be believed, then will have halted prior to deadline day as Premier League clubs swarm for his services.

Focusing on incomings, Mauricio Pellegrino's one addition to the squad, Polish defender Jan Bednarek, is surely not enough if the Saints want to pursue a top-seven finish.

The fragile back line, especially the inexperience at centre-back for when van Dijk does exit, will expose the Southampton team dramatically and picking the ball out of the net will be a regular occurrence.

A lack of transfer rumours for another centre-half will be distressing to fans, but the people at the top have surely earned the Saints fans' trust when it comes to transfer dealings over the years.

Reports have claimed that the club are interested in signing Allan from Napoli, a move which would boost their midfield.

Swinging from one end to the other, Southampton have got an exciting line-up in attack with the exhilarating names of Manolo Gabbiadini and Sofiane Boufal - it is the back four which desperately needs attention in the upcoming weeks.