Saphir Taider to Southampton: Latest Transfer Details, Reaction and More

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2014

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 14:  Saphir Sliti Taider of FC Internazionale Milano in action during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Juventus FC at San Siro Stadium on September 14, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Saphir Taider has completed his loan move to Southampton, the team announced:

Southampton also confirm Dani Osvaldo will be heading to Inter:

The 22-year-old midfielder remained a rotational player during the Italian club's 2013-14 season, racking up 13 starts and 12 substitute appearances in Serie A.

He scored during Inter's 7-0 thrashing of Sassuolo and contributed an assist in the 3-0 win against Udinese, providing Walter Mazzarri's team with a pressing presence through the centre. Taider is gifted on the ball, strong in the tackle and will continue hassling opponents until exhaustion, making him a smart acquisition by new Saints boss Ronald Koeman.

Southampton's mass exodus has many questioning whether they will be able to replicate last season's excellent eighth-place finish in the Premier League. Key players Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren and Calum Chambers have already moved on from St. Mary's, with Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez also linked to the departure list, as per Dominic Fifield of The Guardian.

Taider is Koeman's first attempt at rebuilding a central midfield area that is likely to suffer without Lallana's creativity. Although the loanee doesn't offer the same level of technical skill as Liverpool's signing, his well-rounded game and willingness to do battle should begin to usher Koeman's revered grit over the team.

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 02:  Saphir Slitti Taider (C) of FC Internazionale Milano is challenged by Arturo Vidal (L) and Giorgio Chiellini of Juventus during the Serie A match between Juventus and FC Internazionale Milano at Juventus Arena on February 2, 2
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The tidy midfielder averaged 1.7 tackles per Serie A appearance last year, completing 89 percent of his passes across the season. His set-piece delivery continues to improve and he can offer Southampton accurate, whipped balls from corners or wide free-kicks. While not much of a goalscorer, Taider has the capability to contribute assists if handed responsibility.

Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports underlines this analysis:

Koeman previously stated his intentions with the player, who will be used to help bolster Southampton's depleted squad: "Taider brings quality and we need that. We need competition in the squad as well and that will be good," said the boss, as reported by Jones.

Taider started two games for Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, both of which the Desert Foxes lost 2-1 to Belgium and eventual winners Germany. He typically sat further forward in Vahid Halilhodzic's line-up, where his energy added a sense of urgency alongside the measured approach of Nabil Bentaleb.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 17:  Moussa Dembele of Belgium and Saphir Taider of Algeria battle for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match between Belgium and Algeria at Estadio Mineirao on June 17, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Southampton certainly need further signings to ensure the club's quality doesn't dip during this transitional time. Taider's loan deal allows Koeman to make sure the player is up to scratch before committing long term, a smart move considering his inability to maintain a starting role for Inter. The potential is certainly apparent, though, meaning Taider can become a key cog in the Dutchman's side.

Saints followers will no doubt be pleased to land a signing, rather than seeing another one of their heroes pushed through the door. Uncertainty will remain over the team until a run of positive results are strung together in the Premier League, a challenge which looks to be even more daunting than last year's top-eight finish.


Stats via WhoScored unless otherwise noted.