Graziano Pelle has become the latest Southampton player to make his way out of the Saint Mary’s Stadium following a £12m move to Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng. The Italy international is the latest addition to a growing list of players who have secured lucrative deals with Chinese teams.
Pelle enjoyed an impressive Euro 2016 campaign as he bagged two goals in the tournament for his national team side.
The Italy international arrived at Southampton from Feyenoord in 2014 at a time where some of the club’s stars had completed moves to top Premier League sides, Pelle’s stay at Southampton saw him score 30 goals in 80 league appearances.
The former Feyenoord man provided Southampton with an outlet for converting crosses and through balls into goals.
With an amazing ability to move into good goal scoring positions and a strong aerial presence, the 29-year-old is quite similar to Bayern Munich Legend Mario Gomez.
There’s no doubt about the fact that Pelle will be missed at the Saint Mary’s Stadium.
So far this transfer window, Southampton have let out three key players including Graziano Pelle, with the other two being Sadio Mane, who secured a big money move to Merseyside outfit Liverpool and Victor Wanyama, who made his way to Spurs.
A casual look at the Saints’ recent history reveals that after selling big name players, they’ve always been able to bounce back even stronger – due in large part to the managerial brilliance of Dutch tactician Ronald Koeman.
But the situation is far more complicated now that the Dutchman has taken up the managerial role at Everton, giving rise to a new era at Southampton under recently-appointed manager Claude Puel.
Southampton has brought in Nathan Redmond from Norwich City for £10m as a direct replacement for Sadio Mane.
The South-Coast outfit has also secured the services of Bayern Munich midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg for a fee believed to be in the region of £12.8m.