Southampton turned down the chance to let Sofiane Boufal leave the club over the summer despite the likes of Inter Milan, Celta Vigo and Fiorentina wanting to sign the 24-year-old “at all costs”, according to Sport Witness.
The Paris-born winger has failed to hit the ground running following his £17m move from LOSC Lille in 2016, making just 35 appearances for the Saints across all competitions. However, the Moroccan’s recent wonder goal against West Brom could revitalize his Southampton career.
The skilful playmaker made a name for himself with French minnows SCO Angers and when his fantastic form continued in Lille, Boufal opted for a move to the Premier League, despite heavy interest from across Europe.
“He feels great. He’s just waiting for more game time,” Boufal’s agent said.
“You know, he didn’t start August as a first-team player, and we had clubs like Inter Milan, Celta Vigo and Fiorentina, clubs who know what they’re doing when it comes to signing players, who wanted him at all costs.
“Southampton said no, even if they weren’t playing him, and over the past three games, Sofiane is showing that he’s the one who’s winning them points.”
Boufal isn’t the first player to have moved to Southampton and failed to live up to expectation.
Despite an outstanding goal at St Mary’s Stadium against Manchester City, Italian international Dani Osvaldo failed to give the Saints a long-term option in attack, something that can now be seen with former Napoli striker Manolo Gabbiadini.