Arriving from Stade Brest to become Ralph Hasenhüttl’s third summer acquisition, here’s the lowdown on new arrival Ibrahima Diallo.
The second highly rated 21-year-old to arrive on the south coast following breakthrough performances abroad, Diallo joins Mohammed Salisu in ignoring interest from elsewhere to become a Saint.
Offering an all-action midfield presence, the France Under-21 international operated in a box-to-box roll for Brest, catching the eye with his ability both in and out of possession.
Boasting electric pace, Diallo is effective both moving forward with the ball and snuffing out any danger defensively, taking a commanding role in the middle of the park.
With a solid range of passing and ability to dribble with the ball, his potential suitors ranged from Ligue 1 clubs to several Premier League outfits.
However, Diallo is adept when constrained to only defensive duties, earning a reputation as a player who was notoriously hard to dribble past due to his reading of the game and pinpoint positioning.
This summer’s move to St Mary’s follows a fairly rapid rise in France, having begun as a youth product at Monaco.
Joining his older brother, Abdou, who now plays for PSG, in making it as a professional footballer, Ibrahima’s breakthrough came initially on loan at Brest.
Impressing in over 20 appearances for The Pirates in Ligue 2, Diallo helped the club to promotion back to the top tier and subsequently made his move permanent.
Carrying on his development in Ligue 1 in 2019/20, the European scouts began to notice the youngster as his attributes continued to flourish.
But it was Hasenhüttl who was successful in confirming the next chapter will be in the Premier League, where Diallo is fully equipped to become an intrinsic member of the Austrian’s squad.