Retained list: who will stay, who will go?
This section requires no speculation, with Claus Lundekvam and Chris Makin hanging up their boots.
Looking for a new home
With Saints desperate to cut costs and so many players out of contract it's more a case of who will be retained rather than who will go. The injury prone Darren Powell is a certainity to be on his way and despite being a Pearson favourite the high wages and injury record of Inigo Idiakez count against him.
Jermaine Wright has gone more than anyone of late to earn himself a new contract, even if he has his limitations as a player he has shown the adaptability and willingness to fight for the cause that marks a good squad player.
Gillett has shown little sign of breaking into the first team. Nathan Dyer before his infamous nightclub incident would have been one the club would have fought to keep but with the Premiership vultures looming it seems inevitable his unfulfilled talent will be heading out the door.
He may be a huge fan favourite but Alexander Ostlund's injury-plagued season and Jermaine Wright's form look set to end his time at Saints. Licka may have impressed have finally emerged from the shadows but it may be too late with hard decisions needing to be made.
Out on loan
Gregorz Rasiak and Rudi Skacel's loan moves in search of a place in their respective Euro 2008 squad met with varying results.
Skacel scrapped in by his fingernails thanks to a team mate's broken hand. It was no real surprise that Rasiak proved what we already knew, he's not quite Premiership class. How galling it must be to see Saga in the Polish squad having stayed at Saints.
Skacel is a near certainity to remain at Hertha, but Rasiak's far less successful move to Bolton will mean he will be back at the club, at least for now. Hopefully it will be for good, but his goalscoring record is bound to attract ambitious clubs within the league and generate much needed revenue in a squad stripped of so many of its major assets.
After a mixed season with Surman taking his place at left back on his return from injury, it looks unlikely that Vignal's loan will not be made permanent.
Both Perry and Lucketti impressed on loan with their experience and with both available for a small fee, Saints are expected to sign at least one of them with Lucketti the more likely after a deal with Sheffield United was so nearly agreed to allow him to play in the epic final game.
Pericard's short and less than impressive cameos are heading back to Stoke and now the Premiership. Likewise, with Adam Hammill's early season promise remaining unfufilled, he looks set to head back to Liverpool. A massive sign of ambition would be to get Richard Wright back on loan after his stellar performances. This is Saints though.
On the wanted list
Surman's early season form earned him his first England U21 call ups and the wider attention of the Premiership. His lack of pace may count against him, but his magical left foot and eye for a pass is bound to attract interest. With Saints squad in danger of gathering journeymen with so many departing it is vital that the local boy remains to build the club around.
Stern John's eye-catching goal tally is set to do just that, but fortunately for Saints his relatively high wages and age should enable us to keep hold of him unless a significant offer comes in. If Wright-Phillips can be sold, then Saints may well be able to hold out.
Jhon Viafara may not have had the best of seasons, but he has consistently attracted interest for his energy and athleticism and will be a target if offered at the right price.
Andrew Davies showed real Premiership class in his short time at the club and we have to hope that his end of season injury kept one of Saints' best kept secrets under wraps.
Next season's line-up?
So how might new look Saints line up next season and where are the major gaps in the squad?
Working back from the assumptions above the team could look something like this:
Thomas Lucketti Davies Surman
Lallana Safri Wright Euell
Subs: Bialkowski, Baseya, McGoldrick, Lancashire, Hatch
Saints look short of numbers and genuine quality all over the pitch and with the academy supply line starting to slow up have a massive job to do to get the balance right of a competitive and financially viable squad. It could be a long and difficult season without investment.