Anyone following the Southampton rumour mill the last week will know the name Jannik Vestergaard by heart already. The Danish international defender has long been linked with a move to Southampton and earlier this morning – as per the speculation of a deal now being incredibly close – terms were agreed with Borussia Monchengladbach and the player himself and he becomes the fourth arrival of the summer at our Staplewood Campus.
The 25-year-old has agreed a four year deal at St Mary’s Stadium but having been in the Denmark group for their World Cup games out in Russia (he didn’t take to the pitch, unfortunately) he’ll no doubt get a few weeks off first before beginning the new chapter in his career.
The 6ft 6in centre-half comes in with good experience having spent his career in the German top-flight with almost 200 games to his name with Hoffenheim, Werder Breman and Monchengladbach and he comes with Europa League and Champions League experience as well.
Speaking to saintsfc manager Mark Hughes said of his new capture.
“We have had to fight off a lot of competition to bring Jannik here, and we are delighted he has chosen Southampton as the right place to take the next step in his career. Although we were aware of the level of interest in Jannik, he made it clear very quickly that the quality of the club and the ambitions we have here meant this was his number-one option. He represents another excellent addition to our squad this summer, and brings with him an extensive amount of experience for his age. That means he can not only help us in the present, but that he has the potential to develop his game even more with us, which is what we want as a club and is clearly exciting for both parties.”
The 16 capped international added.
“It feels great. The deal has been underway a couple of days and I’m very excited now it has finally happened. I knew of the interest before the World Cup and the club has followed me for quite some time and done a lot of scouting, which is also a good sign for me that they know my strengths and weaknesses. The degree to which the club wanted me was important in my decision. They had done a lot of research, seen a lot of live games and on video as well. I feel I’m at a really good place to develop. After seeing the place, I have only seen nice people and smiles on faces. I feel very welcome.”
I can’t imagine that reaction from Southampton fans would be anything other than delight at this deal as given what I know of him now, as long as he hits the ground running I can see him being nothing but a major addition to our backline.
The question is, with Maya Yoshida, Jack Stephens and Jan Bednarek featuring on the rumour mill themselves when it comes to a potential departure given our numbers in defence. Is Hughes going to pivot to youth and rotate the younger lads with the man who sounds like a city in Game of Thrones, or pivot to experience with Vestergaard and Yoshida being the main pair?
That’s probably a separate debate in itself though.