Player analysis: The lowdown on £15m Southampton signing Pablo Osvaldo
Saints broke their record transfer fee for the second time this season after they shelled out £15m for the Italian, but what will he offer fans at St Mary's?
Southampton broke their transfer record fee for the second time this summer after they confirmed the signing of Italian international Pablo Osvaldo, in a deal worth around £15m.
But what are Saints’ fans getting for their money? Well, Osvaldo was actually born in Argentina, but a professional career forged in Italy combined with an Italian great-grandfather has seen him choose to represent the Azzurri on the international stage, having been capped nine times and scoring three goals along the way.
The 27-year-old played his youth football in the Argentine capital Buenos Ayres, turning out for Lanus, Banfield and Huracan, where he signed his first professional contract.
However, it wasn’t long before Serie A side Atalanta came calling in 2006, although the striker made just three appearances for the club before moving to Lecce in a co-ownership deal, going on to make 32 appearances and scoring eight goals.
Having begun to make a name for himself in Italy, Fiorentina snapped him up for €4.6m, and he played made 34 appearances scoring six times before leaving the club on a loan deal for Bologna.
Having spent two years at Bologna after signing a permanent deal with the club, Spanish side Espanyol announced they had signed Osvaldo, and he started to find his goal-scoring form, with 22 goals across two year’s attracting the attentions of Roma, who were in need of a goal scorer having slipped down the Serie A league table in recent years.
Roma paid over €15m for the striker, but he repaid them with 28 goals in 57 games, giving him a record of scoring nearly every other game.
He had been attracting the attentions of Manchester City and Tottenham throughout this summer, but Southampton increased their interest in the striker having already broken their club transfer record with the £12.5m acquisition of Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama.
Osvaldo actually played under current Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino during their time at Espanyol, and having signed a four-year contract on the south coast, he will provide competition for current strikers Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriquez and Emmanuel Mayuka.
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