Much of the focus at Saints in the next week and a half will, of course, be on trying to secure the first points of the season before September’s international break.

However, the next 11 days are potentially even more crucial for the club off the field.

While the attention of Premier League supporters has drifted away from thoughts of transfers given it is now a fortnight since the English top flight’s deadline day, the European window remains open.

What business Saints can do before September 2 is crucial to the long-term future of the club and will have a significant impact on the first team for several windows to come.

Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was able to bring in three new recruits during the summer transfer window.

Che Adams and Moussa Djenepo arrived early. Kevin Danso was a later addition once the club knew that Charlie Austin was moving permanently to West Brom.

That last sentence rather reveals much of the problem that Saints have.

The early signings of Adams and Djenepo, on top of paying the £18.8m owed to Liverpool for Danny Ings, was Saints spending the spare cash that they had. Once that money, the result of things like broadcasting revenues, was gone they could not commit to further spending until they were sure they would raise funds and, crucially, space on the wage bill. Like it or not, under owner Gao Jisheng the club are being run on a self-sufficient basis.

The key to this is not only to think of fees, but also contracts. To sign a player on £70,000-a-week for four years is a commitment of £14.5m in wages, which probably doubles the overall liability assuming the fee would be of a similar size given that is the market Saints are shopping in these days.

It’s a huge financial burden, and not one to be taken lightly.

Therefore, it obviously stands to reason that while the club are burdened with a small but not insubstantial group of unwanted players, most of whom were signed for large fees and on big long-term contracts, they cannot be as proactive as they would want in bringing in new faces.

Given that a good number of these players also have years remaining on their deals, and potentially fees being paid in instalments as well, the problem is glaring.

Poor recruitment hurts any club hard. But it is especially difficult for what is, comparatively, a smaller Premier League club like Saints.

The folly of some of their terrible recent deals – which, in fairness, followed a period of relative transfer success - has left them hamstrung, not only for one window but for many years.

It is part of the reason Les Reed, who was in charge of the football side of the club when the players were recruited, lost his job. He is now in a high-power role at The FA.

Ross Wilson, who was also involved at a senior level but under Reed, remains at the club as Director of Football Operations.

The consequences of poor recruitment have continued to be seen in the opening two games of the season.

While the below par signings in question are not out there as Hasenhuttl has decided he doesn’t want them involved, they remain on the books, and a drain, which has meant that he cannot move for more new faces.

The run-up to the close of the European window is vital for Saints.

They desperately need to try and sell some players. That’s not loan them. Or loan them with a view to a permanent deal. They need to sell them.

That is easier said than done, as evidenced by this summer.

It’s comparatively easy to sign players, especially from smaller clubs. Selling ones is an artform that Saints have struggled to master.

They are in a poor negotiating position because they are fairly desperate. Everybody in football can see it. It is simple logic.

Kicking the can down the road another year or six months with more temporary deals means the problem is out of sight and out of mind for a while, but the long-term damage continues to take a toll.