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Southampton had a mare with Sofiane Boufal transfer

Southampton often outline themselves as the picture of a well-run club, promoting youth and selling when they need to for huge fees.

Examples of this are endless, with Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott the first of many.

Most importantly over the years has been their shrewd recruitment, with this summer’s additions outlining their desire to support the talented youth to carry them through.

However, one of their few transfer missteps was the decision to outlay £16m, a then club-record fee for Moroccan winger Sofiane Boufal.

Was Sofiane Boufal a bad signing for Southampton?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Claude Puel has a lot to answer for with this move, which still remains in their top five most expensive incomings despite the move being over five years ago now.

The initial decision to purchase him was one that did make sense, with the winger coming off the back of an 11 goal and four assist season for LOSC Lille.

He had lit up Ligue 1 with his trickery and end product, but upon moving to England he seemingly lost all of the latter.

Just one Premier League goal in his first season was a sign of things to come, and he would go on to score just five goals and assist another five in all competitions for the Saints over his entire career for them.

Given his transfer fee, this works out to an outlay of £1.6m spent for every goal contribution. Not only this, but whilst at the club, he ate up an astounding £63k-per-week across four years.

Many fans will always remember his memorable solo goal against West Bromwich Albion, with which he won goal of the season in 2017/18.

However, this talent and finish was not seen enough at St Mary’s, and this goal simply serves as a reminder of what should have been, but what ultimately was not.

It epitomised everything that Boufal was capable of, but the stats can only confirm his status as a “one-dimensional” player.

Having now lost the winger on a free, it represents a terrible value on what was in the end a horrendous transfer all-around.

Ralph Hasenhuttl will be hoping to learn from these mistakes in the coming future or his job could suffer from it.

Article title: Southampton had a mare with Sofiane Boufal transfer

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