Sun 13 December 2020 | 6:30

Best Southampton Midfielders of All Time

An overview of all-time Best Southampton Midfielders, whose names have shined from the past in football history, and their memory will last forever.

Southampton's history is shining due to numerous players with unique styles and excellent performances. Being one of the founding members of the Premier League, the Saints have spent the majority of their history in the top flight. Some parts of their success refer to the professional footballers, who play for them and earn extraordinary achievements.

Southampton Greatest Midfielders ever

Since Southampton, which is the tire of English football, has been the home of several exceptional footballers of the years, knowing more about its stars will be interesting for the fans of the football world. By categorizing them to their roles, the following article is about the 

best Southampton midfielders of all time

Adam Lallana

The first time that a talent scout from Southampton spotted Lallana was the time he was a member of AFC Bournemouth Centre of Excellence, which finally led him to be one of the best Southampton midfielders of all time in the future. Despite beginning his youth career with

AFC Bournemouth

, Adam Lallana then transferred to Southampton in 2000, where he developed in their academy and became a professional in 2006 and one of 

best Southampton midfielders ever

. Joining the first-team squad, Lallana made his debut in 2006, in the League Cup, in a 5-2 victory over Yeovil Town. Three months later, Lallana signed a new contract to keep him at Southampton for the next three years.

Playing Southampton against West Bromwich Albion, which was a crucial Championship match, Lallana scored his first professional goal. After a short loan back to Bournemouth, Lallana joined Southampton's first team, which helped him earn two promotions from League One to the Premier League, and becoming captain in 2012. Before joining Liverpool for £25 million, Lallana was in the top flight and after an international breakthrough for two seasons. Starting with the ball 30 yards from goal and dribbling his way past five players into the left-hand side of the 18-yard box is the scene which Lallan recorded in his career history, and finally led to Southampton's 4-1 Premier League victory over

Hull City

in 2013.

Morgan Schneiderlin

The 31-year-old French professional footballer plays as a defensive midfielder for 


and the France national team, and his brilliant performance has made him one of the all-time best midfielders at Southampton. In 2008, Schneiderlin moved to England, having signed a four-year contract in a deal that could rise to £1.2 million, to join Southampton, which before he had started his career with 


. Despite receiving an offer from local rivals


, and then a Premier League team, Schneiderlin joined Southampton.

During the time of playing for Southampton, Schneiderlin made 261 appearances across all competitions in seven seasons and played like a star in the team, which earned consecutive promotions to reach the Premier League, although, made his debut in a 2-1 defeat away to Cardiff City in 2008.

Schneiderlin scored his first goal for Southampton away against Bristol Rovers, which was a match finished in a 5-1 victory. Then by signing a new deal with Saints, he played for the club till the summer of 2014, and by promotion to the Premier League in 2012, Schneiderlin kept his place in the side and played the full 90 minutes of the opening game against 

Manchester City

, though was a 3-2 loss. Schneiderlin' tackled, interceptions, and highest work rate in the Premier League made him one of the best Southampton midfielders of all time. 

Alan Ball

No wonder you like the club after playing for it in two separate spells and then returning to it as a manager what exactly Alan Ball, who is famous as one of the best ever Southampton midfielders, did. As the youngest member of England's 1966 World Cup-winning team, and as a midfielder who played for several clubs, Alan Ball scored more than 180 league goals in a career spanning 22 years. In 1976, he joined Southampton from Arsenal, although he had the opportunity of going to a top-flight club elsewhere.

Ball's help caused the Saint to earn promotion back to the First Division in 1978 and just missed one of the 42 games they played. Also, after being beaten 3-2 by Nottingham Forest, Ball could pick up a League Cup runners-up medal in 1979.

Although Alan left the club, joined it a few years later and made such an impact on 


, apart from club legend Ted Bates, no other manager or footballer has left. After the retirement, Alan Ball, one of the 

best Southampton midfielders of all time

, had a 15-year career as a manager, including spells in the top flight of English football with Portsmouth, Southampton, and Manchester City. Died in 2007, Alan Ball achieved many achievements during his career, including the Southampton Player of the season 1978. 

David Armstrong

David Armstrong, a 66-year-old man, is an English former footballer who played for


most of his career, then moved to Southampton, where he played for more than six seasons, and finally finished his league career with AFC Bournemouth in 1987-88. After joining Southampton and scoring 15 league goals in his first season alongside Kevin Keegan, Armstrong helped the Saints led the table for most of the first three months of 1982. When the Saints finished runners-up to Liverpool in the league and were also semi-finalists in the FA Cup, Armstrong, one of the 

best ever Southampton midfielders

, came close to league title medal. 

Though Armstrong scored several goals in the league in 1984-85 and the Saints finished fifth, because of the ban on English clubs in European competitions arising from the Heysel disaster, they were unable to compete in the UEFA Cup. 

All in all, Joining Southampton in 1981, David Armstrong, one of the 

all-time best Southampton midfielders

, earned many achievements for him, including the title of FC's Player of the season in 1933-94.

Unfortunately, Armstrong's ankle injury cut his career and stopped all his ambitions of football management and did not let him play an active role in the training ground. Instead, he has earned the experience of working in football fundraising and administration and also worked for many non-league clubs, such as Andover, Waterlooville, Lymington, and New Milton.

Terry Paine

Making over 800 appearances, which is a club record in 18 seasons, has made Terry Paine, who is famous for being one of the 

all-time best midfielders at Southampton

, famous. Paine is an English retired football player, originally from Winchester, while he is best known for his career with Southampton. 

Winchester City

 was the club, which Paine began his career there and then signed expert amateur forms with Southampton in 1956.

The time Paine appeared in a reserve game against 

Bristol Rovers

, the Saints signed him as a full-timer, and one week before his 18th birthday, Pine made his League debut at home to 


. Although Paine did not score any goals in the 3-3 draw, he could impress the crowd with his ball-juggling skills, pace, and excellent ability to use either foot.

Paine finished his first season while becoming a virtual regular, switching from left to right-wing and during the following 17 years hardly missed a game. Although Oozing confidence, Paine had caused most of his seniors to become so angry, he could impress them by his undoubted ability, and not only did he gain respect from his peers but also international recognition. 

By joining it, Paine became a regular for the team and experienced playing as a right-sided winger, on the left-wing, in the center of midfield, or upfront. In other words, playing in Southampton, Paine proved that he deserved to be one of the best ever Southampton midfielders.   

Jim Magilton

Being a Liverpool apprentice at the same time as Steve McManaman and Mike Marsh, Magilton was a youngster talent who never managed to make the breakthrough at Anfield.

However, his talent was so noble which paved his career and allowed him to make over 500 football league appearances for 

Oxford United

, Southampton, 

Sheffield Wednesday

, and 

Ipswich Town

, as well as representing 

Northern Ireland

, his country, 52 times. Magilton, whose name is among the best Southampton midfielder of all time, began his playing career in the Irish League with Distillery. Then signing for Liverpool, Magilton stayed there till 1990 and afterward joined Oxford United. 

Despite scoring 34 goals from midfield in 150 appearances before signing for Southampton in 1994, which made him one of the best midfielders, Magilton had a brilliant performance in this position even after joining it that he is famous for being one of the best Southampton midfielders of all time.

Joining Southampton at the time of Alan Ball's management, Magiltong was his second signing, which cost the Saints £600,000. Magilton's first appearance was the match in which Matthew Le Tissier scored a hat-trick, and the Saints won in a 4-2 victory at The Dell over Liverpool. It did not take long for Magilton to establish himself as a commanding presence in the central midfield role and then was known as one of the best Southampton midfielders ever.

Finally, Magilton's club career ended at Ipswich while he had made over250 league appearances, and then moved into its management position. 

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Jimmy Case

Far from being unremarkable, Jimmy Case was a three-time European Cup winner and a four-time league champion. The skillful and talented English footballer, Jimmy Case, is the one who is far from being unremarkable, a three-time European Cup winner, and a four-time league champion.

Jimmy Case also is the owner of a collection of winner medals, which is only the dream of all current generation of players. So, no wonder why the English retired footballer, who played as a midfielder, has been one the best footballer, as well as one of the best Southampton midfielders of all time. Besides, having one of the most powerful shots in the British game helped Case shot to fame with the powerful 


side of the 1970s.

For a nominal fee of £30,000, Case moved to Southampton, and replace Steve Williams, who had joined 


in 1984. After a short while, doing some robust tackling, Case won over any doubters amongst The Dell fans.

By leaving McMenemy, Chris Nichol, the manager at the time, appointed Case as the club captain. Over the six years spent at The Dell, Case lost none of his tackle, and a broadcast vision and excellent passing art made up for any loss of pace. Jimmy Case was also among the most highly regarded midfielders in the First Division, and by the remarkable history he left behind himself, the football world knows him as one of the 

Southampton greatest midfielders ever

Chris Marsden

Chris Marsden is an English former footballer, experienced playing for the Football League and Premier League for many famous clubs such as Sheffield United,

Huddersfield Town


Wolverhampton Wanderers

, and Southampton. By his excellent play, Marsden led Southampton to the 2003 FA Cup Final, though they lost 1-0 to Arsenal.

Although Marsden played seven games in the Premiership for

Coventry City

in 1993, he did not play in the top flight again for a further six years Dave Jones, the manager at the time, brought him to Southampton.

One of the unforgettable memories Chris left behind himself is his Maradona-esque goal at Portman Road, rounding four defenders and the goalkeeper to slot home in a 3-1 ramp by the Saints. The goal, accompanied by a series of outstanding performances for his club, prompted a brief campaign for Marsden to be in the England squad for the 2002 World Cup.

Although many considered Marsden widely as a serious candidate for the troublesome left midfield position, Alan Mullery dismissed Marsden's prospects. The period of his career, which looks like a pinnacle, was the time he captained Southampton in the 2003 FA Cup Final and brought his name to the list of 

best Southampton midfielders of all time

All in all, after making 424 appearances in the Football League and scoring 22 goals as a left-footed midfield player and an occasional defender, Marsden ended his career playing for Football League one club Sheffield Wednesday. 

Steve Williams

Starting with Southampton as an apprentice, Williams has been a product of the Saint's London Selection Centre, which joined the club from school directly. In 1975, Williams became a professional player, and the following year at his 17 made his debut in a 1-0 victory away to local rivals. William's passing ability and composure on the ball made him establish himself as a talented and expert midfielder. William's excellent performance during his first full season at Southampton in 1976-77 earned him the club's Player of the Season Award and recognition for England at the under-21 level.

During the 1978-79 season, Williams was an ever-present in Southampton's run to the 1979 League Cup Final, though they lost 3-2, Nottingham Forest. At the time Lawrie Mcmenemy was the Saints' manager, he became disillusioned with Southampton and felt Williams had taken the club as far as he could. This disillusionment was not only about Williams but also about some other key players, which eventually led Williams to a transfer request, and then joined Arsenal for a club-record £550,000. Overall, Williams, one of the best Southampton midfielders of all time, made 349 appearances for Southampton, and meanwhile, scored 27 goals.


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Matt Le Tissier

One of the best Southampton midfielders of all time, Matthew Le Tissier, is a football television presenter and a professional football player. Le Tissier spent all his club career with Southampton and meanwhile won eight caps for the England national team before he turned to non-league football in 2002. This level of loyalty garnered special affection from the fans of Southampton, who nicknamed him 'Le God.'

Having a creative attacking ability with exceptional technical, Le Tissier is the second-highest ever for Southampton behind Mick Channon and the one who was voted PFA Young Player of the Year in 1990. Despite being the first midfielder with 100 scored goals in the Premier League, Le Tissier is notable for the record at penalty kicks, converting from the spot 47 times from 48 attempts.

In 2000, scoring a last-minute penalty for Southampton in a 2-1 defeat brought his tally of Premiership goals to 100 and made him one of six players and the first midfielder in reaching this milestone. Besides, he is one of the greatest ever from the 12-yard spot, so it is no wonder why his name is among the best Southampton midfielders of all time. Eventually, after his retirement as a player, Le Tissier became a football pundit and worked as a panelist on the Sky Sports show. 

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