FOOTBALL: Southampton's summer so far
SO FAR SO GOOD for Saints Boss Nigel Adkins. Albeit an indifferent set of pre-season results, so far Adkins has made three signings whom he believes will aid his team […]
SO FAR SO GOOD for Saints Boss Nigel Adkins. Albeit an indifferent set of pre-season results, so far Adkins has made three signings whom he believes will aid his team in their bid for Premier League survival.
Jay Rodriguez – From Burnley; £7 million
A young, powerful centre forward signed on the basis of a 21 goal season for his home club Burnley. At 22, Rodriguez represents an investment for the future as well as being a player who can slot into the first team set up straight away.
Rodriguez is strong, quick and has a great long shot whilst having that vital knack that all good strikers have of being in the right place at the right time. These qualities helped him to be named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year for 2011/12.
36 goals in the last two seasons at Turf Moor have established Rodriguez as one of the Championship’s premier strikers and despite being of Spanish descent (his father played for Deportivo La Coruña), he is English born and bred.
If Rodriguez keeps up his current rate of progress, a bigger move to develop his international career could well be on the cards. He has all the attritubutes to justify Southampton breaking their record transfer fee and will hopefully reward boss Adkins with plenty of goals.
Steve Davis – From Rangers; Free
The Northern Ireland captain was unlikely to have been on any club’s shopping list before the financial crisis that hit Rangers, but the former Ibrox skipper wasn’t keen to ply his trade anywhere but the SPL in Scotland and quickly refused the offer to transfer his contract to the Rangers Newco.
Southampton were one of many clubs chasing the cultured playmaker, but the drive and ambition shown by the South Coast club were what eventually prompted Davis to choose Southampton.
Hard working with a great pass and an eye for goals, Davis was certainly one of the best players playing in Scotland last year and he demonstrated this by holding off challenges from Celtic duo Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes to claim 13 assists, the highest number for the 2011/2012 season.
He will add creativity to the bustling and hard working Jack Cork, and Adkins will be hoping the two can form a solid partnership for next year.
Nathaniel Clyne – From Crystal Palace; Fee to be decided by tribunal
Despite being out of contract at Selhurst Park, Southampton will have to pay Crystal Palace to secure the services of this highly talented youngster as he is under the age of 24. Whatever the fee, it is likely to provide a bargain if Clyne blossoms into the player that he could become.
Despite being 21, Clyne has already won a host of awards including Palace’s Young Player of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2011, the Football League Young Player of the Year 2011 and joined fellow new boy Jay Rodriguez in the Championship PFA Team of the Year.
He made his Palace debut four years ago at the age of 17 and over the past four seasons has made well over 100 appearances whilst establishing himself as one of the most promising right backs in the country.