Saints have confirmed the signing of Saphir Taider from Inter Milan.
The Algerian midfielder has moved to St Mary’s on loan with Dani Osvaldo going in the opposite direction.
Both are season long loans with options for the moves to be made permanent for fees of about €7m (£5.5m).
Taider, who starred for Algeria at the World Cup having opted to represent them at international level despite being born in France and having played for Les Blues at youth level, is an attacking midfielder.
He started his career with Grenoble before quickly being snapped up by Serie A side Bologna.
However, his talents were such that it didn’t take long for the giants of Italian football to become interested, with Inter Milan paying €5.5m last summer to bring him to the San Siro.
He has been given the number 17 shirt at Saints.
Club record signing Osvaldo, who joined for an initial £12.9m from Roma last summer, spent the second half of last season on loan at Juventus after his training ground bust up with Jose Fonte.
Saints manager Ronald Koeman said in a club statement: “It’s part of our philosophy for the club to bring in talented young players who like to learn and develop themselves, and that’s true of Saphir.
“First of all, he is a talented football player. He’s 22 and has already played for Algeria at the World Cup.
“I’ve spoken to him about the positions he can play in, and it was a good meeting because he showed me real ambition.
“He can play as a controlled midfielder, but he can also move up around the box and up front, which is a good thing for a coach or manager because it brings more possibilities to the players in the team. He brings competition to the squad.
“He can still learn some things, so we will train him and develop him this season. Over the course of the year, we will then make a decision about the future of the player.
“He’s ten days into his pre-season, so he needs to be in better physical shape but we’ll give him training and he will be ready for the kick-off.
“He will start training tomorrow morning and, depending on how he does over the next few days, we will see whether he will take part in the friendly on Saturday. I will make that decision on Friday.”