Graziano Pellè can’t wait to experience the “beautiful atmosphere” at De Kuip once again when Saints take on Feyenoord on Thursday evening.
Pellè spent two seasons with the Dutch club, working alongside current Saints boss Ronald Koeman, helping Feyenoord to consecutive top-three finishes in the Eredivisie.
Having moved to England ahead of the 2014/15 campaign, and being called up by Italy due to his success with Saints, Pellè is yet to have waved goodbye to the Feyenoord faithful.
“In Holland they give you a goodbye match,” Pellè told youtube.com/southamptonfc. “They invite you back after you leave the club and you have the chance to say goodbye in the stadium.
“But in England the Premier League is very tough and long and I never had the chance to go back last year. When we were off with Southampton I was away with the national team.
“After one year I’m going back and finally we play a game. Everyone will see how beautiful it’s going to be because the atmosphere is amazing.
“For the Southampton supporters who join us and for my teammates they will see how beautiful it’s going to be to play in this stadium. Especially for Jordy Clasie and I, it’s going to be amazing.”
But Pellè is well aware of the task at hand for Saints as they prepare for next Thursday’s Europa League clash with Vitesse. “It’s going to be beautiful on one side because the atmosphere is going to be amazing,” said Pellè.
“But on the other side we know we are getting closer to the important part of our season. We play in the Europa League and we would like to go far so we have to beat Vitesse.
“We know we just have to do our best, even if it is special for us. We know it’s a pre-season game and we have to work hard to try and reach the best level we can.”
Pellè has found the back of the net four times so far in pre-season, and says it’s great to be getting on the scoresheet ahead of the serious business starting next week.
“It’s always great to score because it depends the level you play in games. But it’s also important to find the right solution in the team and a nice combination at the end to find the net,” Pellè added. “For me it’s important to score because I’m a striker and it’s always amazing to score.”