PHOTO: United boss LVG gives Graziano Pelle advice in 2009 training session

Graziano Pelle

Southampton and Manchester United go head-to-head tonight, which sees Graziano Pelle and Louis van Gaal pitted against each other.

Much of the talk surrounding Southampton's clash with Manchester United has been about the alleged feud between the two managers Ronald Koeman and Louis van Gaal.

The duo were together at Barcelona, but reportedly fell out at Ajax, when Koeman was managing and van Gaal was attempting to interfere in his role as technical director.

Both managers have tried to play it down, but there's also another reunion on the cards during the game - and it again involves van Gaal.

This time, it's striker Graziano Pelle who will renew pleasantries with van Gaal. The Dutch boss coached Pelle during his time with AZ Alkmaar, but the Italian scored just eight goals during his time under van Gaal.

Yet his record under Koeman is quite incredible. It was Koeman who replaced van Gaal at Alkmaar, but he lasted just six months before being sacked - yet was clearly enamoured with Pelle.

Koeman brought him to Feyenoord in 2012, and he smashed 55 goals in 66 games before following his boss to Southampton, hitting six goals in 14 games so far - and van Gaal admitted this week that he isn't surprised by his success on the South Coast.

"I am not surprised [at his success] because I bought him at AZ as he was an attacking point," said van Gaal. "Those kind of strikers are the ones I like. So it is not surprising. It may be surprising that he scores nine goals - that is a lot - but he can do it. I knew that.

"I had Shota Arveladze [at Alkmaar], one of the best strikers I have trained in my career. I have trained a lot of strikers but he was one of the best and he had to compete with him."

"So that was not so easy for him but later on he came in the squad and showed his capacity but later on he showed that much more and when Koeman bought him - because he was also manager of AZ - he took him with him to Feyenoord and he explodes. It is fantastic for him," he added.

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