Southampton have confirmed the signing of Sofiane Boufal for a club-record undisclosed fee, believed to be £16million.
The attacking midfielder, who has put pen to paper on a five-year contract at St Mary’s, joins from Ligue 1 outfit Lille.
The Moroccan international enjoyed a hugely successful year and a half with Lille; becoming one of the most highly-rated youngsters in France after moving from Angers in January 2015.
Speaking about his arrival at St Mary’s, Boufal said: “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.
“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.”
Boufal, 22, made 34 appearances during his first full season at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, scoring 12 goals in all competitions as Lille finished fifth in Ligue 1 and reached the final of the Coupe de la Ligue.
Executive Director of Football at Southampton, 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.
“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.