Southampton new boy Eljero Elia compares himself to Sadio Mane

St Marys Southampton

Eljero Elia says securing a January move to Southampton is 'a dream come true' and hopes he can make a similar impact in the Premier League to Sadio Mane.

Eljero Elia did not need much convincing that a switch to Southampton was the right move for him at this stage of his career.

The Dutch winger is due to link up with the Saints in January after agreeing a loan deal through to the end of the season.

He will arrive from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen after many years of speculation linking him with a Premier League transfer.

The likes of Arsenal have missed out on his services in the past, but the 27-year-old is delighted to be on his way to England and cannot wait to get started under countryman Ronald Koeman.

He told Voetbal International: "My agent spoke to the boss and he said, ‘I want you’. He has been very important in my decision to come here. I know many players who have been trained in the Netherlands under him and I hear nothing but good stories. For me playing in England is a dream come true, I knew immediately that I wanted to come here."

Elia is also looking forward to linking up with a number of players he knows well from his time in the Eredivisie and has revealed the identity of the player he hopes to emulate at St Mary’s.

He added: “I'm similar to Sadio Mane, with a lot of freedom in midfield and the wings. I've played against him when he played for Red Bull Salzburg.

“Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle I know. The rest I can get to know. I want to show people what I can do and that the stories about me being trouble are not true. From now on, I want only to be positive."

Elia rose to prominence at FC Twente, earning him high-profile moves to Hamburg and Juventus.

He has struggled to produce his best on a consistent basis in recent years, but remains a match-winner on his day.

Southampton will be looking for him to produce that quality in the Premier League and help the likes of Tadic to provide the ammunition for top marksman Pelle.

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