MAYA Yoshida has taken to Twitter to pen a heartfelt message to Saints fans.

The defender joined Sampdoria on loan in January, with his St Mary's deal officially coming to an end on June 30.

His departure brings an end to an eight-year association with the south coast side which coincided with their promotion back into the Premier League under Nigel Adkins’ guidance.

He went on to become the club’s captain and has made 184 appearances, scoring nine goals.

The former Saint tweeted: "Officially my contract with @SouthamptonFC end today. One thing I have regretted that couldn’t make proper goodbye to my teammates, staff, friends and the fans.’s a part of football. Don’t forget “We march on”! hopefully one day we’ll meet again. Thank you #saints"

Yoshida didn’t just make an impact on the pitch, though.

The 31-year-old Japanese international has made a fantastic donation off it to help the local community in Southampton.

At the start of the 2019/20 season, he pledged to donate one per cent of his annual salary to the Saints Foundation.