Werder Bremen general manager expecting permanent Southampton deal for Eljero Elia

St Marys Southampton

The 27-year-old Dutch winger joined Southampton on-loan until the end of the season.

Elia had been somewhat out-of-favour at Werder Bremen this season, making just nine league appearances for the side struggling near the bottom of the Bundesliga.

Despite his form this season being less than impressive - with no goals or assists registered this term - Saints boss Ronald Koeman was keen to secure his kinsman on a loan deal until the end of the campaign. As part of the deal, Bremen included an option to purchase the 27-capped winger on a permanent deal at the expiration of his loan, for a reported £5 million fee.

The former FC Twente star will move to St Mary’s Stadium on January 3, making him available for the Saints FA Cup tie with Championship side Ipswich Town on Sunday 4, before receiving his first taste of Premier League action at Old Trafford on January 11 - when the South Coast club face Manchester United.

There are doubts over whether Elia can adapt to English football, especially considering he was only a bit-part player for a struggling Bundesliga side this season, but Die Werderaner general manager Thomas Eichnin believes that the winger is perfect for the style of play required to succeed in England.

“He's a player suited for English football, with his ability in one-on-one situations,” Eichnin was quoted as saying.

Completing a permanent deal for Elia depends upon his success in the Premier League, although Eichnin is expecting Southampton to buy him, making everyone happy with Bremen struggling to deal with his high wage packet.

He added: “He will certainly get his matches. I believe we are going to hear a lot from him and that he is going to move to Southampton at the end. If that happens, everyone is happy.”

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