Claude Puel is embarking on his first season in English football having taken over from Ronald Koeman at Southampton in the summer.

And, despite not winning any of his first four games in charge, he’ll be reasonably satisfied with how things have gone in his opening three months at St Mary’s.

His Saints side are 11th in the Premier League having won three and drawn five of their opening 12 games, and face Everton on Sunday looking to get back to winning ways after no win in their last four league matches.

Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

However, Puel’s men are well placed to qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League. They are second in Group K, and know victory over Hapoel Be’er Shava at St Mary’s in a few weeks’ time will secure their place in the knockout stages.

Nonetheless, their recent sticky patch has increased speculation about who Puel may look to sign in the January transfer window to keep Southampton competitive on domestic and European fronts this season.

Thus, here is the dream Saints midfield three, including one key January target…

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