Claude Puel intends to give run-outs to more of Saints’ returning international contingent in Saturday’s friendly game with Groningen.
The Southampton boss has indicated that some of the players who have been afforded an extended break following international duty this summer could play some part in the club’s final pre-season match in the Netherlands.
That could be the signal for Fraser Forster, Ryan Bertrand, Steven Davis and Shane Long to return to action after their post-Euro 2016 break.
All four have been on the Dutch trip and training with the group, although they have mainly focused on rebuilding their fitness.
“It’s important to see these international players,” said Puel.
“I hope they are alright for Saturday. It’s important also to see all the players, including the international players of course. I think they can play 45 minutes. It will be interesting, and when we come back to Southampton we can find in the training sessions Jose Fonte and Cedric Soares and all the squad and the team.”
Fonte and Soares have had longer extended breaks because of their involvement all the way to the final of Euro 2016 with the victorious Portugal squad.