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1998 capture of £1m star was a Saints bargain

While Rickie Lambert and Matt Le Tissier are the obvious legendary names associated with Southampton, there is one man who is 38 goals behind the latter in the club’s all-time top scorer charts – James Beattie.

The ex-Portsmouth striker played his football on the south coast from 1998 to 2005, scoring an impressive amount of goals after arriving for the mere sum of just £1m under former Saints manager Dave Jones.

Southampton splashed the sum on Beattie when signing him from Blackburn Rovers, where the 5-cap ex-England international made just four appearances before leaving Ewood Park – with that information in mind, it makes the Saints’ capture of him look all the more assured and also shrewd given the fact that he was yet to make a name for himself.

The prolific frontman netted 71 goals in 215 appearances for Southampton, meaning that he only cost the club £14.1k every time he scored – it was an excellent piece of business.

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If you were to use the Bank of England‘s inflation calculator, you would discover that Beattie’s £1m transfer fee would now be worth £1,772,953.63 in today’s money – £1.8m when rounded up.

His time at Southampton was the longest that the striker spent at any of his eight clubs throughout his career, and he truly left his mark at St Mary’s by standing third in the club’s all-time top scorers charts where Adam Lallana is the closest man to him, albeit 12 goals behind Beattie.

During his time at the club, the forward helped Southampton reach an FA Cup final where they lost 1-0 to Arsenal.

Eventually, Beattie left the south coast to join Everton in a deal worth £6m, netting Southampton a cool £5m profit on their initial investment having got plenty out of their £1m signing.

He may not have won anything at the club, nor did he ever win the Saints’ Player of the Year award.

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However, simply being amongst the club’s all-time top three goalscorers alongside esteemed names such as Lambert and Le Tissier means Beattie deserves to go down as an astute purchase by Jones.

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Article title: 1998 capture of £1m star was a Saints bargain

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