It went to the wire and at point appeared to have drifted away, but the arrival of Danny Ings from Liverpool on deadline day has set Saints pulses racing ahead of Sunday’s Premier League opener against Burnley.
None more so than Mark Hughes who was quick to hail the capture of Ings on the eve of his team’s new top-flight campaign.
“At one point, we didn’t think we’d get it done but thankfully everything fell into sequence,” he said on Friday morning.
“In the end, we were able to get it over the line and we’re absolutely delighted. It took everybody by surprise, it was a typical last day of the window move.
“We got to a point where it was a win-win situation for both clubs and – more importantly - Danny. It’s a club that is close to his heart and he has a special connection with and maybe he has a point to prove as well. We’re the perfect club for him at this point of his career.”
For Hughes, that feeling is likely to be shared by Saints supporters at St Mary’s on Sunday should he make a homecoming debut and may bring the best out of the Southampton-born forward.
“Whenever you have a player that has a feeling with the club, I think it makes a difference. It helps him as a player, you want to do well for your club that you feel is part of you; fans react and respond to that as well.
“I’m sure the first time Danny walks out as a Southampton player, there’s going to be a huge reception for him.”
The 26-year-old became Saints’ fifth acquisition of the transfer window late on Thursday night and represents an emphatic final piece of business to round off an efficient summer of work.
“We are really happy with the window we’ve had,” he concluded. “If you look at the guys we’ve brought in, we’ve strengthened in every department. Bringing a striker in always makes everyone feel better.
“The process that Southampton go through in terms of recruitment is very impressive; all the work prior, background checks and due diligence is all done before any player is presented to me.
“I just need to worry about whether they are good enough for Southampton and without fault, I haven’t thought twice about them.
“We needed to improve our ability to convert and create chances. We’ve tried to do that with the likes of Stuart Armstrong who has always scored from midfield positions and Moi Elyounoussi who we think will be a real talent in the Premier League.
"Danny will complement the attacking options we already have; they all have different strengths and bring something different to the squad.
“The combination of all of them is really good. Clearly we need to start scoring goals and winning games but I think we’re in a better position in attack now than last season.”