REJUVINATED Saints star Mohamed Elyounoussi described as “perfect” the way Saints now play to suit his game.

The Norway international originally arrived on the south coast from FC Basel for a fee of around £16million in 2018, penning a five-year contract.

However, after making 16 appearances and scoring no goals in his debut campaign, Elyounoussi was sent out on loan to Scottish giants Celtic for the past two seasons.

He returned to Ralph Hasenhuttl's Saints squad for pre-season and, after watching on from the bench for the first two matches, grabbed his opportunity in the Carabao Cup with a hat-trick in an 8-0 win over Newport County.

The 27-year-old followed that up with a goal in his first Premier League appearance in over two years, starting the 2-2 draw with Newcastle United.

He kept his place for the 0-0 draw with West Ham and could once again feature when Hasenhuttl’s men visit Manchester City on Saturday.

Asked how different he felt as a player and a person having returned to Saints, the 27-year-old said: “I think the gaffer said before, the club and his way of playing football has developed since he came to us.

"I remember he changed it to 3-5-2 and I didn't really have a place in the team and it was about securing the position in the league and fighting for points. We didn't play too much football and that wasn't my strength.

"I think I needed time and I needed to play football to get back the confidence, and that was good for me.

"And now, we play much more possession-orientated football, we want the ball more and want to create more chances and have players in the right pockets, between the lines, and that is the type of player I am.

"We have different types of attacking players, with speed, with different qualities, and with me you get someone playing between the lines, the combination play and creating chances.

"I think it is good for the gaffer and for the club to have different types of players, and this time for me, the way we play is perfect for me."

With more options available to him, Austrian boss Hasenhuttl has looked to change up his formations from the 4-2-2-2 he regularly used last season. Elyounoussi was used out wide in a 4-1-4-1 system against the Irons.

"It was different for everyone watching that game,” he said.

"We gave West Ham a bit more time on the ball than we usually do, with pressing high.

"It was part of the game plan and it worked, you can see they didn't create as many chances against us, they created a few but not as many as I think we had, and I think we were unlucky that we didn't score.

"But we showed a different side to our game.

"For me, it was okay to play that position, it was different, but at the same time, I like to come in from the wing position and in between the lines, like a number eight really in the pocket, that's where I was in that game.

"I would hope that I would get the ball in those positions more than I did, but it is different, and the gaffer was happy with the stats and how much we ran in that game, and we had a lot of metres covered.

"It is nice, it is something we can work on, especially this weekend against a team who will have the ball a lot, to defend well, keep a clean sheet and try to be effective offensively.”