Japanese international centre-half Maya Yoshida has revealed this week that he could’ve made a potential move to the lucrative league in Saudi Arabia during the last summer transfer window, but he decided to stay and play his part in the battle for Premier League survival in the season of 2018/19.
Speaking to saintsfc in their programme interview feature, the 30-year-old covered a variety of topics as you’d expect, from his £3million arrival back in 2012 from Dutch side VVV-Venlo, to his adjustment at the club and our changing fortunes over the years since he’s been with us.
Having played his part in a return to hopes for avoiding the drop this year and then Southampton attempting to get back on track and push up the league once again under new Austrian gaffer Ralph Hasenhuttl, Yoshida admitted there was some good interest in him last window, but he ultimately wasn’t going to let money rule his head.
“In the last window, there was interest in me from Saudi Arabia, but I don’t work for the money. I have a good contract with Southampton. If I had an offer from another Premier League club on the same level for an extra one million, I would choose to stay at Southampton and finish a beautiful career with good friends. If I get an offer from another country, maybe I will decide to see a different part of the world, but no one knows in the future. I think I have a good relationship with the fans and people know I have improved. I have had good times and bad times, but I am still here.”
I imagine his stock will only rise amongst his supporters after the clear implication that he’ll end his career here if we allow him the opportunity.
The full interview is definitely worthy of a read, especially his words on the gaffer and another comparison to Mauricio Pochettino and having ‘a plan’.