New loan signing Toby Alderweireld has been discussing his late move to Southampton, and cannot wait to get started.
The Belgian international had been linked with a transfer to Arsenal in recent days, but it was the Saints who made a bigger effort to bring him in from Atletico Madrid.
The defender told Southampton's official website that it was the personal touch from manager Ronald Koeman which convinced him to join up.
He said: "It’s nice to hear that he (Koeman) likes my play. He called me and said that he really wants me to come. A trainer that believes in me is really important."
"Koeman’s style of play fits me and I’m very happy to be here. It’s a very big step for my career. I had to make the right decision. I think Southampton in this stage of my career is the right step."
Alderweireld was very highly rated at Ajax, versatile to play in any position across the back four, which helps make him a real asset for his country too.
He has linked with moves to Tottenham and Liverpool a year ago, moving to Atletico Madrid instead, but their impenetrable back-line on the pitch during their season of unprecedented success, meant that it was a thankless task for the Belgian to make his way into it.
Signed on loan, Alderweireld's addition is risk free for Southampton, but he is not the sort of player who represents a gamble, more a shrewd addition.
There are likely to be a number of Premier League sides when the season is done, looking at the Saints and wondering why they did not go the extra mile to secure his signature.
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