Japanese striker Tadanari Lee has been released from his contract at Saints - ending a two-year stay at the club.
‘Chung’ arrived in Southampton in January 2012 from Sanfrecce Hiroshima adding a valuable option to Saints’ attack in the second half of a successful promotion bid out of the Championship.
He registered a memorable first goal for the club in a 4-0 win over Derby County at St Mary’s – a strike which earned the club’s Goal of the season vote in the end of year awards.
Lee played a vital role in the team’s promotion run with valuable assists in the games against Barnsley and Leeds United, which saw him in a place in Saints’ Premier League squad on the club’s return to the top-flight, where he was joined by compatriot Maya Yoshida – a summer signing from VVV-Venlo.
A couple of injury setbacks however, denied the Japanese forward from breaking into the team on a regular basis as he appeared only in cup competitions last term. Another goal in Saints’ 4-1 victory over Stevenage was soon followed up by a knock, but he worked his way back through playing matches in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League where he scored a handful of goals to help the team into the Elite group.
A mid-season move back to former club FC Tokyo put Lee back into contention at Saints, and an impressive start to pre-season training put him in the first team frame once more.
Chung started in the Capital One Cup games against Bristol City and Sunderland, but fell down the pecking order again due to the breakthrough of Sam Gallagher from the Saints Academy.
Southampton Football Club thanks Lee for his services and wishes the forward well in his future career.