Saints’ star summer signing Mohamed Elyounoussi will join up with his new teammates for the first time today after the club jetted the £16m signing out to China.

The 23-year-old attacking talent, who has signed from FC Basel, joined the club last week but was given a few days before beginning his pre-season work.

Saints took the decision to fly him out to China on his own rather than wait until the team return from their trip to the Far East to give him as much time as possible to work with the squad before the Premier League season starts.

Elyounoussi is expected to make his first appearance in a Saints shirt in the friendly against Chinese side Jiangsu Suning next Wednesday, although he is unlikely to be given more than 45 minutes to ease himself back into action.

Saints yesterday kicked off their pre-season preparations by drawing 3-3 with Schalke in Kunshan.

Mark Hughes’ other summer acquisition, Stuart Armstrong, made his Saints bow in the game, while back at home the club continue to work on other potential deals with a centre half and a striker on the radar as frontline options, while a right back to provide cover is also likely to come in.