A match-winning performance from Dušan Tadić had Saints manager Mark Hughes singing the Serbian’s praises after victory against Bournemouth.
Tadić’s superbly-taken double – his second and third home Premier League goals in his last two St Mary’s matches – twice put his team in winning positions against Cherries and left his manager hailing a “first-class” showing.
“Until you actually work with someone, you can underestimate the quality that they have,” Hughes said of Saints’ number 11.
“I’ve always admired him from afar and thought he was a very effective Premier League player."
By his own admission, the Welshman has been a long-term admirer of Tadić’s talents, which may yet prove decisive once more in Saints' run-in, against Everton, Swansea and Manchester City.
“Seeing his character and ability up close, he is simply first-class," said the Saints boss. "His impact won us the game against Bournemouth and, off the field, his impact on the group is always positive.”