In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former Southampton vice-chairman Les Reed has said signing Graziano Pelle in the 2014 summer transfer window was a “no-brainer”.
Pelle was brought to the club by Ronald Koeman, reunited with his manager at Feyenoord. And looking at his goalscoring record at the Dutch outfit, it was no surprise that Koeman was so keen on a reunion.
Ultimately, for Reed, Southampton had no choice but to sign him as they looked to replace Rickie Lambert, who had left for Liverpool the same summer.
“We wanted to replace Rickie Lambert,” Reed exclusively told FFC. “Ronald had worked with Graziano at Feyenoord. Graziano had a similar style, you know, scoring record etc.
“So it was a no-brainer out of three choices of strikers to go with Graziano because the the manager knew him, trusted him, knew how to handle him and so on.”
Pelle went on to make 80 appearances for Southampton, scoring 30 goals during his two-year stint at St. Mary’s.
During that time, he also had a key role in the Italy national team, a member of the squad highly appreciated by Premier League title winner Antonio Conte.