Dani Osvaldo may go down as one of the biggest transfer flops of recent times for Southampton but, when it comes to pure comedy value, few compare to Saphir Taider, the Inter Milan player who joined the Saints on a season long loan this summer and left after just a few weeks.
The arrival of the Algeria international was a major coup for Southampton, with the attacker joining the club as part of the deal that saw Osvaldo move temporarily in the opposition direction.
Only 22, the Grenoble youth academy star had previously caught the attention of Manchester United, though a Red Devils’ bid for the North African midfielder ultimately failed to materialise.
Taider only played once for Southampton, in a friendly encounter with Bayer Leverkusen, but his short stint with the Saints may have nevertheless done his chances of landing a dream move to Old Trafford irrevocable damage.
Weeks after signing for the Premier League outfit for the season, Southampton announced on their website that the deal had been cut short after Taider "failed to live up to the high levels of commitment expected" of those players at the club.
He return to Italy, with Osvaldo’s loan deal unaffected and subsequently signed for top-flight overachievers Sassuolo.
Now back in more familiar territory, Taider has started well with his new employers, as he aims to prove Southampton wrong and earn a place back in the good books with several Premier League sides thought to be keen on recruiting the ex-Bologna man.
Sunday’s trip to Parma provided the perfect opportunity to do that, with the two clubs currently struggling at the wrong end of the Serie A standings.
Ultimately it was Sassuolo who came out on top at Stadio Ennio Tardini, with Taider playing a pivotal role in the win after setting up Sergio Floccari’s opener for the visitors and later adding a third goal to seal a 3-1 victory for his new team.
A point clear of relegation at the time of writing, Taider will be keen to continue showing Southampton fans what they are missing when Sassuolo meet Empoli this week.
Is Saphir Taider Southampton’s worst signing of recent times?