The Italian completed a £14 million switch to St. Mary’s at the end of January and made an immediate impression on the Saints’ supporters, smashing six goals in his first four matches for the club – including a brace in the League Cup final.
Le Tissier – who made more than 500 Southampton appearances from 1986-2002 – is the only player to have scored 100+ Premier League goals in the club’s history, and racked up 209 for them in all competitions, the last of which was also the last scored at The Dell.
And the Saints’ new striker tells FFT that he was well aware of ‘Le God’ upon signing for the south coast outfit, saying former club Napoli’s fans have a similar devotion for Maradona, who led the Partenopei to two Serie A titles and a UEFA Cup in the 1980s.
“Yes, yes. I knew a lot about him,” Gabbiadini says in the June 2017 issue of the magazine. “I’d seen a few videos of his best goals. You could say he’s the Maradona of Southampton – a bit like how Naples has Maradona, here they have Le Tissier.
“He is well-known as a player and when I arrived at the club I quickly understood the super-importance that he has got with this place. I have to say that when he speaks on TV, or in the newspapers, he always says good things about me. So whenever I get to meet him I need to thank him, as it makes me really happy.”
Read much more from Manolo Gabbiadini in the June 2017 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, in which we profile Barcelona and Brazil superstar Neymar and his quest to take on Lionel Messi’s mantle as the best player on the planet. Also this month, we slip on a neon jacket and become a steward for a day at The Hawthorns, speak to Chelsea defender David Luiz about his successful return to Stamford Bridge, go One-on-One with former Germany international Christian Ziege, review 23 of the game’s maddest owners and remember when Manchester United stopped Liverpool from completing the Treble in the 1977 FA Cup Final. Order it now, then subscribe!