SAINTS' head of performance analysis Natasha Patel has left for the New York Red Bulls.

Patel had spent eight years with Saints, having joined as an academy analyst in 2011.

She had been head of performance analysis since 2016 taking charge of analysis for the under-23s and below with Scott Walters, who remains at the club, on first team duties.

Patel has taken up a similar role with the Major League Soccer outfit, whose squad includes Saints loanee Josh Sims and ex-Saint Bradley Wright-Phillips.

A statement on the club’s website says “Patel will oversee and expand the club’s use of analytics in areas including opponent scouting, game preparation and player evaluations from the Red Bulls First Team down through Red Bulls Academy.”

The club’s sporting director Denis Hamlett said: “On behalf of everyone at the club, I’d like to welcome Natasha.

“We are excited to have Natasha join us.

“Her work at Southampton was very impressive, from first team preparation to programs and processes she implemented behind the scenes to strengthen the club’s use of analytics to drive performance.

“We will lean on Natasha to improve our use of data at all levels of the club.”

Patel said: “I am extremely delighted to join the New York Red Bulls family. A club with strong values and a clear vision to develop players and continue to be successful in MLS.

"It is a fantastic opportunity to work with passionate and forward-thinking staff to give players the tools to analyze and enhance their performance whilst maximizing their potential.”