Arriving from Stade Brest as Ralph Hasenhüttl’s first summer acquisition, here’s the lowdown on new arrival Romain Perraud.
Enjoying a similarly rising stock to that of Ibrahima Diallo – who followed the same path to St Mary’s from Brest last October – the marauding left-back has chosen Saints and the Premier League from an ever-growing list of possible suitors.
With three goals and seven assists, the 23-year-old was a valuable asset for the Ligue 1 outfit in 2020/21 – proven by being their most-used player, featuring in 36 out of 38 league games.
Adding dynamism in all three thirds of the pitch, Perraud excels with his positioning and often comes out on top in the battle against his opposing number. Not only contributing to his side’s attacks, the Frenchman is also adept at starting them himself, possessing the guile to finish them off either with smart finishing or clever assists.
Perraud’s development in France has been noteworthy throughout. Coming through the ranks at Nice, a season on loan at Paris FC in 2018/19 demonstrated the left-back’s potential influence.
Sitting top of the club’s goalscoring charts at one stage – whilst still helping a defence that conceded just 22 goals all campaign – Perraud was named Ligue 2 Player of the Year which paved the way for a personal promotion to Brest and France’s top division.
Making a steady 20 appearances in his debut season, the France Under-21 international shone from the off in 2020/21, something highlighted by four assists in his opening 12 matches.
By mid-December Perraud led the way in terms of goal contributions with seven, providing a goal or assist every 154 minutes, to make Brest one of the most exciting and captivating watches in the division.
Just as committed defensively as he is offensively, Saints’ capture of Perraud will offer Ralph Hasenhüttl a new dimension on the left-hand-side of the pitch, with his contract to 2025 confirming the Frenchman is ready to entertain long-term on the south coast.