THE £7m that Saints shelled out to bring striker Jay Rodriguez to the club last summer is starting to look like a very shrewd piece of business.
After a slow start to his St Mary’s career, the 23-year-old forward is now beginning to thrive in the Premier League and looks to be repaying the investment made in him with interest.
Rodriguez has turned in a string of eye-catching performances in recent weeks, scoring in the recent victories over Liverpool and Chelsea.
He will today be reunited with the manager who signed him for the club, Nigel Adkins, as Saints visit Reading.
But it is under latest boss Mauricio Pochettino that Rodriguez has really started to impress.
“He’s put faith in me,” said Rodriguez, who has had more of a chance to play through the centre recently, as well as out left. “He gives you that belief that you should be on the pitch and he’s played me and given me a chance.
“I’m really chuffed with that and all I can do is keep doing my best for him and the team.”
The fee paid by Saints to Burnley in June last year represented a club-record transfer at the time, before it was broken shortly afterwards by the £12m signing of Gastón Ramírez.
Rodriguez’s departure from the Clarets also marked a club-record sale for the Championship side.
His performances in a Saints shirt recently have seen him linked with the likes of Liverpool, and have caught the eye of pundits like Graeme Le Saux, left, himself a former St Mary’s star.
“He’s a sort of Michu-type player where he’s got great control and he looks to have a lot of time on the ball,” said Le Saux, left, comparing the striker to Swansea’s Spanish star who has taken the top flight by storm this season.
Rodriguez’s strikes against Liverpool and Chelsea have now taken his goal tally for the season to eight.
He is a player who is developing a happy knack for scoring against the division’s top sides, having also netted against Manchester United and Tottenham this term.