Southampton have officially completed the signing of striker Sofiane Boufal from French side Lille, the club announced on Thursday.
The transfer has cost the Saints a whopping £21 million, surpassing the £15 million paid for Dani Osvaldo in the summer of 2013 to become the most expensive signing to ever grace St. Mary’s.
Of the most recently promoted sides in the English top flight since 2012, no team has disposed of their best players to opposing sides like Southampton.
From Luke Shaw to Adam Lallana, Morgan Schneiderlin to Victor Wanyama, believers at St. Mary’s have been treated to an unending exodus of their most accomplished, naturally gifted players to the more financially endowed Premier League clubs year after year.
Be that as it may, the club has received little or no vilification for the recurrent exits, much of it because of their consistency in the Premier League.
In fact, it’s safe to say Southampton are now a fully established top ten side in England.
Born Sofiane Boufal on 17 September 1993 in Paris, he spent his entire youth career with Angers before rightfully gaining a call up to the first team in 2012.
After making nearly half a century of appearances with Angers, he joined Ligue 1 opponents Lille last season, finding the back of the net 11 times in 43 appearances before being sidelined by a knee injury at the tail end of the season.
Will he live up to the price?
Sofiane Boufal is a natural finisher, but is versatile enough to play on the flanks.
Nonetheless, the Saints have taken a massive risk in signing the 22-year old who is still on the treatment table and may be sidelined until September or start of October at the very latest.
Knee injuries are not the most pleasant, as they have in the past hampered the careers of even the best strikers like Ronaldo [the Brazilian legend] and Radamel Falcao.
However, Claude Puel is well versed with the forward having seen him play during his managerial stint at Nice.
The belief that compelled him to break the bank for the transfer to materialize could go a long way in making Sofiane Boufal a proven marksman in the Premier League.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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