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Egil Østenstad was genius from Graeme Souness

When Graeme Souness brought a striker from Norwegian outfit Viking Stavanger, surely few people knew much about the attacker.

The man in question was Egil Østenstad, who Southampton spent £900k to sign back in 1996 as Souness looked to bolster his forward ranks at St Mary’s.

It proved to be an inspired capture, as the Norwegian almost immediately barged his way into the supporters’ good books with a hat-trick against Manchester United of all teams, netting the treble in a 6-3 win just three games into his career on the south coast.

After his first season at Southampton, Østenstad had 14 goals under his belt and was named as the supporters’ Player of the Season, which isn’t bad going as far as first impressions go.

In total, the Haugesund-born striker spent three years with the Saints before leaving for Blackburn.

Was Egil Østenstad Graeme Souness' best signing?

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Yes

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In that time, he netted an impressive 28 goals in 96 appearances for the club.

Take his £900k transfer fee into account and divide it by the amount of goals he scored, and you’ll discover that this Souness signing only cost Southampton £32.1k per strike, which is excellent value for money.

Using the Bank of England‘s inflation calculator, you would also discover that Østenstad’s £900k fee would be worth £1,702,141.43 in today’s money, which would still make him a pretty good signing financially given the amount of goals he scored.

The Norwegian went on to play for Manchester City and Rangers after his time at Ewood Park came to an end, and while some Southampton fans may presumably have wanted the striker to stay at St Mary’s for longer, he was still a very good player for them in his brief stint on the south coast.

Premier League experts will get full marks: The ultimate quiz on top flight transfer flops…

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He may just spend his time taking shots at Paul Pogba nowadays, but Souness deserves credit for finding this Norwegian gem.

In other news, Les Reed unearthed a muddied diamond when signing this colossus back in 2015…

Article title: Egil Østenstad was genius from Graeme Souness

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