Boss Ronald Koeman insists he needs some fresh faces to arrive in January if Southampton are to keep up their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Most pundits tipped Saints for relegation before a ball had even been kicked this term and would have expected them to be struggling at the wrong end of the table having lost so many influential stars in the summer.
But the new recruits have gelled quickly and, after 13 games, the south-coast club find themselves third in the standings with 26 points.
They had won four consecutive matches before a 1-1 drew with Aston Villa, but the way in which Manchester City inflicted a first defeat in six games on them with a 3-0 triumph at the weekend served as a reminder of the gulf in class when the bigger teams hit their straps.
It always looked as though the period leading up to Christmas would be a real test of their resolve and the Saints will be in for another tough evening when they take on Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday night.
The target now for Koeman’s side is to try to hang in there until January, with the possibility of a few new recruits arriving to bolster the ranks for the challenge of competing in what the Dutchman feels is the toughest league of all.
“I will speak to the board of the club, about what we need and what we would like to do,” he said. “This is the hardest league because you can lose against everybody.
“You have to be prepared every game and you can’t play on 70 per cent.”
Arsenal are priced at 1.81 to win the match on Wednesday night while Southampton can be backed at 4.33 to cause an upset in north London.