FORMER Mali and Tottenham ace Freddie Kanoute has described Moussa Djenepo and Saints as the “perfect match”.

Kanoute, who also played for West Ham during his time in the Premier League, has overseen the development of Djenepo’s career.

The former striker was sat in the stands to watch the £14m summer signing make his St Mary’s and believes he will flourish under Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Daily Echo: Freddie Kanoute in action for TottenhamFreddie Kanoute in action for Tottenham

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Kanoute said: “I think that’s why he [Hasenhuttl] wanted him.

“From the beginning, he said he wants these types of players and he has followed a lot of his games from when he was at Standard Liege.

“Moussa is this kind of player, and since he was in the academy in Mali, I have been working with him.

“Because he is this type of player, I always wanted to take him to Europe.

“His style is sought after in Europe: players that can beat players who can provoke dangerous situations.

“I think it’s going to be a perfect match.”

Djenepo caught Saints’ attention after a standout season with Standard Liege in Belgium where he netted 11 goals in 38 appearances to help them finish third in the First Division A.

He initially joined the Belgian outfit back in 2017 for just £45,000 from Yeelen Olympique in Mali after being encouraged to join a European club by Kanoute.

Such was Hasenhuttl’s interest in the player, he became the Austrian’s first signing since taking charge of Saints last December.

The St Mary’s chief wants his attacking stars to lead from the front with his high press and feel confident enough to take chances.

Because of this philosophy, Kanoute thinks Saints fans are in for a treat once Djenepo settles in at his new club on the south coast.

“I think he is going to be an exciting player because that’s what he is,” continued the former two-time Europa League winner.

“He likes to take on people and he likes to be in one-v-one situations because he is very direct.

“His skills in one-v-one situations are really good. He can go past players easily which is his main skill. He will obviously need to adjust to the level of the Premier League which might take a few days.

“I prefer it to take days rather than weeks. He is going to be an exciting player for the club. I think he is really ready and he is a player, and person, who can adjust really quickly.

“When he arrived in Liege, the whole dressing room loved him straight away. He is a really likeable person and he will adjust to the group very quickly.”

Having first spotted Djenepo playing for Yeelen Olympique, ex-Mali international Kanoute added him to his 12Management sports consultancy company.

They work with an exclusive number of clubs throughout Africa and Brazil to help guide players’ careers in the right direction.

And Kanoute reckons because they start working with young talents like Djenepo from an academy age, it helps potential buyers gauge a better understanding of them.

He added: “We work exclusively with these clubs and their players. The agency part of my company takes care of the transition from Africa to Europe.

“I have a consulting company and I have followed the academy for a very long time.

“I was an ambassador for that academy and when I retired I started my own consulting company which is mainly in Africa. We do it in Mali, Zambia and a little bit in Brazil.

“It’s also why the clubs I’m working with appreciate the transition because I can give them a tracking system of the players that I’ve been working with for a long time.

“We have developed them, and we make sure the transition is the right one for them.”

The ex-Spurs and West Ham ace made a total of 144 Premier League appearances, scoring 43 times over a five-year period.

He upped sticks to join Sevilla where he proved to be a success in 2005.

But, despite being Mali’s most successful export on these shores, he doesn’t think there is any added pressure on Djenepo.

“I am from another era – they don’t even think of me anymore,” explained Kanoute.

“It’s nice for them to have someone look after them who knows the game and who has been where they are now.  But they have their career to do and I always wish for them to have a better career than I had.”