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Southampton has completed a move for Moroccan international midfielder Sofiane Boufal from Ligue 1 side Lille for an undisclosed fee.
It’s been reported that Boufal’s transfer cost Southampton an initial fee of £16 million, which would be a new club record. The 22-year-old spent the past season and a half at Lille, and scored 12 goals in 35 games in all competitions last season. Boufal, who was born in Paris, France, has been capped twice by the Moroccan national team. Boufal said he’s excited to get the opportunity to play for Southampton in the Premier League.
“I’m very, very happy to sign for Southampton and I am really excited to play in St Mary’s Stadium in front of the fans,” Boufal told the club’s official website.
“Southampton showed big interest in signing me, and I can see that this club is the best place for me to continue my progression as a footballer
“I hope I can achieve many great things with Southampton. It is a very good club, with excellent facilities, and I feel it is the perfect environment to continue my development.”
Southampton Executive Director of Football Les Reed said: “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Sofiane to Southampton Football Club.
“He has shown his undoubted qualities in France over the past few seasons, and we are extremely confident he will successfully adapt to life in the Premier League.
“Sofiane is a player we have watched develop closely over the last few years, and we’re thrilled to have him join the club ahead of what promises to be a very exciting season, with Europa League football on the horizon.
“His excellent campaign with Lille last season meant a number of clubs were pursuing him to secure his services, but we’re delighted that Sofiane sees Southampton as the best place for him to continue his development.
“Saints fans may have to wait for a few weeks yet to see him demonstrate his skills, as Sofiane had a delayed start to his pre-season training and will be working very hard with our fitness staff to get up to full match fitness.
“At just 22 years of age, he will undoubtedly continue to improve as a player, and we’re very pleased that he will be able to make that progression with us here at Southampton.”