Graziano Pelle made an impact on Saints when the club needed it most

When Graziano Pelle becomes the latest big-name departure from Southampton, there should be no sense of ill-feeling on either side. On the contrary, both parties have reaped the benefits during the Italian's goal-laden two years at St Mary's.

Pelle is expected to complete a £13 million move to Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng within days after being offered a lucrative contract worth in excess of £100,000 a week to see out his career in the Far East.

But unlike many of the players who have quit Saints during the past three turbulent summer transfer windows, Pelle will have the blessing of the majority of supporters, many of whom are just grateful he is not taking up the offer to follow former manager Ronald Koeman to Everton. Those fans are intelligent enough to understand Pelle's reasons for joining the lengthy list of defectors, namely one last big pay day and the fact he is by no means guaranteed a starting place under new Southampton manager Claude Puel.

In fact, given the form of Shane Long in the past 12 months and with Saints hopeful that Charlie Austin and long-term absentee Jay Rodriguez can regain full fitness, Pelle could well have found himself as Puel's fourth-choice front man.

The supporters also appreciate the impact Pelle has made in his two seasons at the club; helping transform Southampton from a team being touted as potential relegation candidates after their summer fire sale in 2014 to one about to embark on their second successive European tour.

Pelle too can only be thankful he made the switch from Koeman's old club Feyenoord to the South Coast soon after the Dutchman had been named as successor to the Tottenham-bound Maurico Pochettino. For when he arrived, Pelle was regarded as a journeyman striker, a late bloomer who had only began to fulfil his potential after a chance meeting with one of Koeman's sons during a summer holiday to Ibiza helped line up the move to De Kuip.

He leaves a fully fledged Italian international, sought after by two of the biggest clubs in his homeland in Lazio and Juventus and having proven himself in the most competitive league in Europe. His record of 23 goals in 68 Premier League games, the last of which in a 4-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace on the final day of last season helped Southampton secure Europa League qualification, tells only a small portion of the story.

Before falling out of favour with Koeman at the back end of last season after a string of niggly injuries hampered his form, Pelle was the focal point of the Barcelona legend's line-up; the kingpin of the 4-2-3-1 formation upon which Koeman built his not inconsiderable success.

Even when he was going through a barren patch in front of goal -- Pelle has a tendency to score his goals in streak and was far less prolific away from St Mary's -- Koeman, acutely aware of the importance of his hold-up play, rarely left out the 31-year-old. At times, Koeman could have been accused of overusing Pelle when it was patently obvious the Italian was in need of a rest, having been used to having a mid-winter break to recharge his batteries in the Netherlands.

Playing in China will put less demand on Pelle's body, another reason the move makes perfect sense from the player's perspective. The only tragedy for Pelle is he will not be given the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to the fans who should be grateful for the impact he made on their beloved club, just when they needed it most.