SAINTS hero Maya Yoshida has thanked his former club after spending time training at Staplewood during the international break.

The Japanese international, 35, is back in Europe during the downtime following LA Galaxy's MLS season. 

Yoshida departed Saints to join Italian outfit Sampdoria in January 2020 after 194 appearances for the St Mary's side, in which he scored nine goals. 

Yoshida has now moved on from Saints with the return of the competitive Championship schedule but he left with another important message.

On social media, Yoshida said: "Southampton. thank you for having me.

"Amazing experience and great to catch up with old and new friends. Wish you all the best for the rest of the season!" 

Saints manager Russell Martin explained Yoshida's appearance to the Daily Echo and ruled out the possibility of a loan transfer or a longer stay. 

“It’s not something we have discussed. He has been back in England because he had a lot of things to sort out," he said. 

“Now he has gone back and I think he has plans to go to a few other places. He didn’t bring up a potential transfer and neither did we because we have got a squad we are really happy with. 

“It was what it was. It was really nice to have him in. He helped us and hopefully, we helped him.”