Osvaldo leaving Southampton was the right thing - Fonte

Jose Fonte had to battle with Peter Crouch. Photo: PA

The black eye Jose Fonte received after being attacked by Dani Osvaldo has long gone but the psychological wound will "take time to heal", with the Southampton defender admitting the Italian's exit was best for everyone.

Signed to much fanfare from Roma in the summer, the club-record acquisition managed just five months of a four-year deal before being shipped out to Juventus on loan, with a view to a permanent move.

Osvaldo failed to live up to the hype at Saints, managing just three goals in 13 appearances, but it was the training-ground incident in which he headbutted team-mate Fonte that proved the final straw.

It made the 28-year-old's position in the squad untenable and Fonte, part of the side since the League One days, believes his exit was best for all concerned.

"There have been a couple of text messages, apologising and stuff, but some things take time to heal," the popular Portuguese centre-back said.

"The spirit has always been fantastic. We have known each other for a long time and one of our best assets is the team spirit.

"Yeah, he left, obviously he left for a reason, and it was for the best for the team and the club.

"We move on, I've moved on and he has surely moved on as well, so everything is all right."

Asked if he had any input in Osvaldo's exit, Fonte said: "Me? No. What can I say?

"The boss is Mauricio Pochettino and he knows what happened and decided that it would be best for group for him to move on."

Osvaldo's exit may have helped team morale, but it has left Saints light up top - something highlighted in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Stoke.

Unable to bring a different creative spark off the bench, Pochettino's side were nullified after twice being seeing leads cancelled out, with Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis efforts levelled by goals from Peter Odemwingie and Peter Crouch.