Southampton produced a battling display but ultimately fell just short of their first League Cup title at Wembley on Sunday.
Claude Puel’s men found themselves unfortunate to go 2-0 down to Manchester United, with strikes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jesse Lingard giving the Red Devils a cushion, yet a fine Manolo Gabbiadini brace, the second of particular quality, brought them back level.
And, although they hit the post through Oriol Romeu and created other chances to get the third, Ibrahimovic headed home three minutes from time to settle a frantic and thrilling final.
It means that the Saints will have to wait another year to win their first League Cup title, as they added Sunday’s runner-up finish to their only other one in 1979, where they lost to Nottingham Forest by the same scoreline.
Nonetheless, it was a fantastic effort from Puel’s men, who will have to translate that fine display into more of their Premier League matches in a bid to secure a fourth successive top half finish in the top-flight.
They are currently 13th in the division, but with 13 games to go, they have every chance of reaching the top ten, and some players have every chance of securing their futures at St Mary’s should they finish the season strongly.
So, with that in mind, here are THREE Southampton players who will be fighting for their futures at the club between now and May…