The 22-year-old central midfielder arrives at St Mary’s to find a depleted squad that has, so far this summer, lost a handful of star performers under Mauricio Pochettino last term.
Saphir Taider is a midfielder who can function in central, defensive and even attacking midfield and his flexibility will be an asset for Southampton boss Ronald Koeman, but does his arrival suggest another first team star could be on his way out?
The club have insisted repeatedly that reported Arsenal and Tottenham target Morgan Schneiderlin is not for sale and, despite his public dissent, will be expected to honour his contract at the club.
Taider comes in as a swap deal taking striker Pablo Osvaldo to Milan until the end of the new season but is he actually intended as a swap for France international Schneiderlin?
“He can play as a controlled midfielder, but he can also move up around the box and up front,” said his new manager about his role.
One player who, although considered a controlled or defensive midfielder, who hasn’t shown much control is Schneiderlin who posted last week on Twitter, suggesting his relationship with the club had been destroyed following meetings to discuss his future.
“Very clearly we don’t communicate with our players in the public, so he was informed of the fact we were not going to sell him,” Ralph Krueger responded to questions via ITV over the player’s public outburst.
“"He [Schneiderlin] is not leaving for any money," said the club chairman.
It would, however, not be the first instance a player has attempted to ‘force through’ a move and, furthermore, he would not be the first to succeed either. The Frenchman gave a strong account of himself at the World Cup in Brazil and is now being pursued by North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham and, after all, despite what the club chairman insists; in football everyone has their price.
Perhaps the signing of Saphir Taider is, if nothing else, Southampton covering themselves for the likelihood that Morgan Schneiderlin will make his own position at the club untenable.