Signing number four is through the door at St. Mary’s and it comes in the form of midfielder Saphir Taïder on a season long loan deal from Inter Milan.
The Algerian international started two games at the recent World Cup in Brazil for his country in the defeats to Belgium and Germany respectively.
Though central midfield is hardly a position Saints have needed to strengthen, it will be interesting to see whether Taïder can make an impact at St. Mary’s.
As usual though I decided to spare you my uneducated views on a player I’ve seen little of and caught up with Inter fan Mike Whittaker from fansite http://www.nerazzurriworld.com/.
Firstly sorry for Osvaldo. Saphir Taider, what can you tell us about him?
MW ‘I must admit I’m not overly happy about the Osvaldo deal, his bad attitude and personality has a very negative affect on his considerable talent. He reminds me a lot of Balotelli (Good player but causes a lot of problems within his clubs), anyway this is about Taider! Unfortunately, us Inter fans didn’t get to see as much of him as we would’ve liked last season, so I’m unable to give you a as in depth analysis as I would’ve been able to if he’d played regularly.
However, all in all, he has a huge amount of potential in the central midfield role. So what can Taider offer to the current Inter squad? He is a box to box player that is comfortable playing as a defensive midfielder where he can utilise his preference to get stuck into a tackle to dispossess an opponent and fulfil his defensive duties. His ability to hold onto the ball enables him to dictate the flow and tempo of the game and could be employed as a Regista too.
I will be sad to see the youngster with such good potential leave Inter, but as I’ll explain in the next question, it’s probably the best decision for both the player and Inter.’
Does he have any specific strengths and weaknesses you can tell us about?
MW ‘His greatest strength is in his defensive capabilities where he is very switched on to the flow of a game and solid when called upon. His weakness is his reluctance to put in extra work to be noticed by the coach/manager, and can be lazy on the pitch when off the ball. Last season he was vying for a place in the Inter team against Zdravko Kuzmanovic (who Inter fans will tell you is useless) and veteran Esteban Cambiasso (was looking exhausted by the last third of the season) both of whom amassed much more time on the pitch than Taider. I can only speculate on the reason for this is that Taider was unable to convince Walter Mazzarri of his value to the team and he mustn’t have gone the extra mile required to warrant the Inter coach to give him a proper chance.
This theory is strengthened by the fact that Mazzarri has brought in Yann M’Vila and Gary Medel into the Inter squad while letting the youngster Taider leave relatively easily. Like I say this is speculation, but it is a very likely scenario knowing how Mazzarri likes his players to fight for a place on his team, and prove themselves worthy.’
Do you think he can adapt to the Premier League?
MW ‘I’m not convinced he can, if I’m totally honest. We all know the Premier league has a faster pace than Serie A, and if his laziness is obvious in Italy in England he could have rings run around him. Sorry! Though, as I’ve said there is tons of potential in the lad, so with the right club and manager he could develop into a really good quality player.’
Saphir takes on Lahm at the World Cup.
What have you made of the Southampton situation this summer?
MW ‘Obviously as an Inter & Serie A fan I don’t really know the ins & outs of what’s happening at Southampton, but it seems to me the club are taking several massive steps backwards this summer. I can see them really struggling in the upcoming season, possibly with relegation on the cards come May.’
Have you heard anything about Ezequiel Schelotto following Taider to Saints?
MW ‘Yes, the rumour surrounding the deal is that Schelotto is included, I heard yesterday that he started following Southampton on Twitter so it definitely looks almost certain you will be getting him too. If you want to know what he is like, it can be summed up in one sentence- one of the worst Inter purchases of recent years, as an out and out winger he was never going to suit the systems Inter use.’
So there we have it, another player added to the squad and another we can be excited to see in the famous red & white stripes, perhaps more as a potential star than an automatic first choice player!
Hopefully there are more to follow!