It’s a little odd for a player coming from Southampton to not go on and achieve huge things. Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk are arguably the best players to move on from St Mary’s in recent years, with even ex-teammate Adam Lallana boasting an attractive medal count.
But not all former Saints have followed the same path, and Morgan Schneiderlin is one example of hitting a huge decline since his exit.
The France international spent seven years on the south coast of England after leaving his native country for the first time in his career. In his tenure at Southampton, he made 257 appearances and contributed 15 goals and 11 assists, despite being a defensive midfielder by trade (via Transfermarkt).
His strong role in the Saints squad put him in the Premier League shop window and soon enough, teams had come knocking for his services. In his final season at St Mary’s, Schneiderlin helped Southampton to a seventh place finish. They also conceded the second lowest amount of goals for the term with 33, behind only league winners Chelsea with 32.
After Southampton snapped him up for a reported £1.3million from Strasbourg, Manchester United paid a handsome £25million for the Frenchman. However, it wasn’t long before the Red Devils grew unimpressed with his form.
Despite winning the FA Cup, Europa League and Super Cup with Man United, Schneiderlin played a limited role after his debut season. His second and final campaign in Manchester saw him left out of the first team squad on 16 occasions in the Premier League alone. The 30-year-old was shipped out halfway through the 2016/17 season, moving to Everton for £24million.
After failing to recreate his Southampton performances with United, he went on to further decline in himself on Merseyside. Despite being a regular starter for the Toffees, new manager Carlo Ancelotti viewed the midfielder as surplus tro requirements and decided that he simply didn’t fit the bigger picture at Goodison Park.
Schneiderlin returned to his home country this summer, joining Ligue 1 outfit Nice for £2m. It seems likely the 30-year-old will see out his career back in France and quietly plod along in his performances.
But Southampton will be thrilled with the business they’ve done, which ultimately saw them pocket an impressive £23m-odd profit on a declining player.