Back in October 2013, Southampton made a statement signing having recently arrived back in the Premier League.
The Saints handed Mauricio Pochettino an Italian striker named Dani Osvaldo, who moved to St Mary’s in a club-record deal worth £15m.
Southampton already had some very impressive attacking talent such as Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana, so while Osvaldo wasn’t a vanity signing, it seemed like one made to lay down a marker.
However, it ended up being a disastrous move by the club.
The ex-Juventus forward only made a total of 13 appearances for Southampton, scoring a mere three goals while also being far from exemplary in terms of discipline.
Osvaldo – who temporarily quit football to focus on ‘barbecue and beer’ – was involved in a training ground bust-up with Jose Fonte, which led to the striker being suspended by Southampton before ultimately having his contract terminated in July 2015, less than two years after his arrival.
The Italian had also punched Erik Lamela while at Roma, so it was nothing new for him personally.
In total, Osvaldo cost Southampton £5m for every goal he scored, making him a truly disastrous signing in terms of his on-field performances – the off-field actions just make this move all the more shambolic.
In today’s money, that £15m fee from 2013 would be worth £17,319,854.06 – there are quite simply no positives to take from Southampton’s then club-record swoop.
As aforesaid, with Lambert, Lallana and Rodriguez, Osvaldo wasn’t needed, and the frontman was more trouble than he was worth to Pochettino – it takes a lot for any club to terminate a player’s contract, let alone someone who a transfer record was smashed in order to sign.
Pochettino has enjoyed an excellent managerial career involving signings such as Heung-min Son, Dele Alli and Toby Alderweireld – however, we presume that he still shudders at the thought of signing Osvaldo whenever it crosses his mind.
In other news, take a look at three things we’ve learned about Danny Ings this season…