It must be tempting for Albion fans to poke fun at their Southampton counterparts at the Amex tonight.

The Saints' most prized assets have been marching out of St Mary's this summer at an alarming rate to Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and probably now Spurs.

Luke Shaw to Old Trafford, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren to Anfield, Calum Chambers to the Emirates, the unsettled Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez perhaps to be reunited with former manager Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane.

Supporters in the away end this evening for the Seagulls' closing pre-season friendly before the proper stuff starts are ripe targets for ridicule.

Be warned though, Albion's hierarchy might be wrestling with the same sort of difficulties in the future.

Solly March, Jake Forster-Caskey and Christian Walton are unlikely to attract fees on quite the same scale as Shaw, Lallana and Chambers.

But rest assured, Premier League scouts will be keeping tabs on all three this season.

It comes with the territory when you develop young England internationals.

And what if Will Buckley enjoys an injury-free, influential season? Or Lewis Dunk, no longer preoccupied by a court case and matured by fatherhood, rediscovers the form that earned him an England Under 21 call-up? They would be back in contention for a Premier League move as well.

Southampton are an exceptional case, because of their exceptional youth policy. Arsenal previously poached Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as well.

The reality, however is that the Seagulls, the Saints, in fact every single club outside the top six or seven in the Premier League, are a breeding ground and talent-supplier for that elite group.

If one of them comes calling, dangling wage riches, European competition and silverware, it is nigh-on impossible to hold them off.

A deal, nine times out of ten, will eventually happen. All you can do then is stand firm until you get a fair price.

Southampton received in excess of £30 million from United for Shaw. Fine prospect though he is, he is never worth that.

The inflated premium for English players was further emphasised by Lallana's move to Liverpool for £25 million. He is very good too but worth as much as Cesc Fabregas?

Granted, Southampton's wholesale sale has left them in a bit of a mess under Pochettino's successor, Ronald Koeman.

Former defender Danny Higginbotham tweeted: "Situation at Southampton is not good. How you can lose the spine of your team and manager in two months is a worrying sign for next season.

"After huge strides over the last few years the saints could be in a relegation battle. New manager and any players will take time to gel."

The Daily Echo, sister paper of The Argus, received a record number of postings on their website from outraged supporters when news broke of the Gunners' swoop for Chambers.

It would be a similar story if Albion sold off all of their crown jewels.

The key to their chances in Sami Hyypia's first season in charge is how well they re-invest the £8 million downpayment from Leo Ulloa's move to Leicester.

The key for Southampton will be how well they use their £100 million plus windfall.