Les Reed has described the signing of Dani Osvaldo as a “gift” to former Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino.
Having guided the Saints to Premier League safety and then a 14th-place finish in their first season back in the top-flight, the Argentine was backed heavily by the Southampton hierarchy.
Southampton spent more than £30m in the summer of 2013, bringing in both Victor Wanyama and Dejan Lovren, who went on to play for Tottenham and Liverpool, respectively.
But their other permanent signing in that window was a significant one in Italian striker Osvaldo.
Following two impressive seasons with Roma, scoring 30 goals in less than 60 appearances, the frontman broke Southampton’s club record fee for a player when he joined in a £15m deal.
But after just three goals in 13 outings, the last of which a stunning curling effort against Manchester City, Osvaldo’s St Mary’s career was over before it started when he joined Juventus on loan less than six months later.
Two more loan deals followed before he was released by Southampton less than two years after his well-anticipated arrival.
“Osvaldo was brought in independently, it wasn’t planned,” Reed exclusively told Football FanCast.
“It was a gift for Mauricio. I certainly didn’t know he was coming.”
Talking about his departure, Reed added: “I had to find a way of moving him on without doing damage or paying him a significant amount of money.
“The last thing you do is devalue these players by sticking them out with the reserves. Osvaldo went to Inter Milan and then Juventus – if we have devalued him, those kinds of clubs would have never taken him.”