SAINTS midfielder Ibrahima Diallo admitted it had been a “complicated decision” to leave French outfit Brest but insisted he had to make the move for his career.

The 22-year-old joined Saints in October for a reported £12million and has since played 15 times in the Premier League.

Diallo helped Brest seal promotion to Ligue 1 during the 2018-19 campaign, with a second-placed finish behind champions Metz.

Asked about leaving behind his former employers to arrive at St Mary’s, Diallo said: “It was a very complicated decision.

“It’s a real family club where you get very attached to the people in the club.

"The supporters love the players there. I felt good there but it was a decision I took. It was a difficult decision to take but one I felt I had to take for my career.”

Diallo is expected to line up for Saints when they make the trip to West Brom on Monday (6pm).

He has featured more prominently in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s starting XI alongside skipper James Ward-Prowse, since fellow midfielder Oriol Romeu was ruled out with an ankle injury.

Asked about the competition between him and the Spaniard, Diallo said: “It's not just Oriol in my position, we’ve got James Ward-Prowse as well as a number of young players coming through in the academy.

“Oriol is a very good guy, he’s welcomed me very well. We have a really good working relationship.”