Reed patient over targets

  • Last Updated: July 28 2014, 17:28 BST

Southampton have appealed for calm in response to an alarming player exodus that prompted new manager Ronald Koeman to tweet a picture of an empty training ground.

Ronald Koeman: Has seen several of his top players leave
Ronald Koeman: Has seen several of his top players leave

Calum Chambers has become the fifth member of last season's squad to leave St Mary's after signing for Arsenal in a deal thought to be worth in the region of £16million.

Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana had already been bought by Liverpool, while Luke Shaw has joined Manchester United.

And more departures seem likely with Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez understood to be close to linking-up with last season's Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.

Koeman on Monday morning reacted to the player drain by posting a photo on his official Twitter account showing an empty pitch and a few cones at the Staplewood training base alongside the words: "Ready for training".

Whether the Dutchman posted the image as a joke is unknown, but the club view the situation seriously enough for executive director Les Reed to reassure fans there will be new arrivals at St Mary's.

"It is important in the transfer window to remain calm, resilient and above all patient," Reed told the club's official website.

"We have targets and we are working hard to get them across the line."

Reed admits Southampton were powerless to keep Chambers, the versatile 19-year-old defender who broke into the club's first team only last season.

"We are naturally disappointed whenever any of our academy graduates leave and that's very much the case with Calum's departure," Reed said.

"Calum made it clear to us that he did not see his future at Southampton.

"As such, it was crucial that we were able to negotiate a substantial fee that also reflects the work our staff have put into Calum's development since he joined the club at the age of eight.

"Our position remains unchanged in that we are determined to keep our best young players at the club and evidence of this can be seen in the decision to award Harrison Reed a new long-term contract last week.

"Harrison adds to the list of committed young professionals like James Ward-Prowse, Sam Gallagher, Jack Stephens, Jordan Turnbull, Matt Targett, Sam McQueen and others who have seen plenty of first-team activity recently.

"We have an abundance of talent in the academy coming through and everybody at the club is continuing to work hard on bringing in quality new players as we build a team capable of taking us further forward in the coming seasons."

Southampton have signed Dusan Tadic from FC Twente and Feyenoord's Graziano Pelle for a combined £20million so far this summer.