June 29, 2018 / 12:03 PM / 5 months ago

Southampton sign Elyounoussi from Basel following Tadic departure

International Friendly - Albania vs Norway - Elbasan Arena, Elbasan, Albania - March 26, 2018 Norway's Mohammed Elyounoussi in action with Albania’s Elseid Hysaj REUTERS/Florion Goga

(Reuters) - Southampton have made their second signing this week with attacking midfielder Mohamed Elyounoussi joining the Saints on a five-year deal from Swiss club FC Basel, the Premier League side said on Friday.

The 23-year-old joined Basel from Norwegian top-flight club Molde FK in 2016 and was a crucial part of the Swiss team’s success over the last two seasons, having scored 23 goals and provided 30 assists in 83 appearances across all competitions.

Elyounoussi’s arrival comes a day after playmaker Dusan Tadic left Southampton to join Ajax Amsterdam, with the Saints wasting no time to replace their midfield talisman.

"He has got an outstanding record of goals and assists in two different countries, and we have been extremely impressed by the intelligence he has shown in his play from a tactical point of view," manager Mark Hughes told Southampton's website here

“He’s still at a young age as well, so we’re confident he can continue to improve and fulfil even more of his potential with us.”

The Norwegian international helped Basel win the top-flight Swiss Super League and Swiss Cup double in the 2016-17 season.

Elyounoussi said he was eager to prove himself and develop at St Mary’s.

“I like to create chances, either for me or to play others through. That’s where I’m at my best, when I can use my creativity, so I think the philosophy of the club will suit me very well,” Elyounoussi said.

Southampton will be hoping that the Norwegian will gel with playmaker Stuart Armstrong, who joined the Saints on Tuesday from Celtic, and help the club improve on last season’s 17th-placed finish in the league.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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