Saints Make First Signing Of The Summer
Tuesday, 26th Jun 2018 18:41
Saints have opened their transfer account for the summer and it is no surprise to anyone who has been watching the tansfer rumours of the past week.
Saints have signed Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong with the fee said to be in the region of £7 million.
It is probably not the most exciting signing for Saints fans, but what the team lacked last season was someone who could not only create and score goals, but could graft as well, Armstrong seems to fit that mould judging from reports North of the border.
Although the player didnt have the greatest season last term for the Celts, in 2016/17 he was outstanding leading him to be linked to several clubs a year ago including Saints.
Back then Celtic did not want to let him go and that seemed to affect his relationship with Brendan Rodgers and he found himself dropped, often when his for did not warrant it.
Now at 26 he is ready to step up to the plate again and recapture his sparkle.
The official Club site described the deal as follows.
"The 26-year-old has agreed a four-year contract with the club and will link up with his new teammates on Thursday for the start of pre-season.
Armstrong established himself as a major creative force in midfield during his three-and-a-half years with Celtic, notably netting 17 goals during the 2016/17 campaign alone, as he helped the Glasgow giants to an unbeaten season and the first of back-to-back domestic trebles.
In total, Armstrong won eight major domestic trophies during his time with the Scottish club, and also brings with him significant European experience, having made 25 appearances in the Champions League and a further eight in the Europa League, while he has been named in the PFA Scottish Premiership Team of the Year three times.
The Scotland international, who began his career with Dundee United before joining Celtic in 2015, chose to move to St Mary’s amid strong interest from other Premier League sides, becoming the first addition of the summer to Mark Hughes’s squad. "
The player himself is happy to join Saints and is looking forward to starting his career in the Premier League.
“Southampton seems a really good fit for me. Watching from afar, I really enjoy the attractive football that they play and I’m very happy to be here.
"Every season, I put demands on myself to create and score goals. I hope going forwards from here that it will be the same this term at St Mary’s.
"I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and I’m very excited to get started. It’s a four-year contract; there will be a lot to learn and I want to hit the ground running."
Mark Hughes is also happy to get his man.
Stuart is a player who we have admired for some time, and I am delighted we have been able to bring him here, especially given the competition we faced to sign him.
“We have strong players in the squad and it is important we build on that by adding different qualities. It is important we add a greater goal threat to the team as a whole, and to our midfield specifically, and Stuart’s record of scoring and creating makes him an extremely exciting addition in that area.
“He brings with him extensive experience of European football and has developed his game impressively over the past few seasons at a major club in Celtic, where there is a demand not only to perform but also to win. Stuart has done both during his time there.
“Our research tells us he is an excellent young man, intelligent, and a strong team player, and clearly having another really good character in our group is part of what we want here at Southampton.
“He has shown tremendous drive to improve and has also displayed a great desire to be a part of what we are trying to achieve here, and I believe he will be a real asset to the squad in the years ahead.”
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