Southampton appoint Cherif Oudjani as their new French scout

Sky Sports journalist Lyall Thomas confirmed on his Twitter account on Monday evening that Southampton had appointed Cherif Oudjani as their new head of scouting in France.

What’s the word, then?

Well, reports emerged at the end of September that the Algerian was set to arrive at St Mary’s in a scouting role having impressed the club’s hierarchy, with a suggestion that he could become their ‘head of scouting’.

However, in his tweet Thomas has moved to dismiss those suggestions and instead says he will spearhead their search for talent in France, where they haven’t had the best of luck when it comes to signing players from Ligue 1 clubs in recent years.

The 53-year-old certainly comes with great pedigree for the job seeing as he played there between 1983 and 2002, as well as working in a similar position for RC Lens.

What will happen next?

Following the disappointing additions of the likes of Jeremy Pied, Sofiane Boufal and Guido Carrillo from over the English Channel in recent years, it is clear to see that Southampton need some work on their scouting in the country of the World Cup holders, and Oudjani looks to be a positive appointment.

Of course, not all of the south coast outfit’s purchases from France have been a disaster, and they had a successful seven seasons from Morgan Schneiderlin following his move from Strasbourg, before he was sold on to Manchester United.

With their academy graduates drying up and following many questionable acquisitions in the last couple of years, Saints will be hoping that Oudjani can help them discover some talent that can make a difference in their first-team, and perhaps even discover the next Schneiderlin for them and the fans, who have reacted to a loaned-out star shining for his club with one saying they would be “more than happy to see him come back”.