Jose Fonte praises Southampton teammate Kelvin Davis

St Marys Southampton

Kelvin Davis has played in goal for Southampton over the latter stages of the campaign and struggled.

Jose Fonte has told Southampton's official site that Kelvin Davis is a vital presence in the dressing room.

Davis is Southampton's longest serving player, having made 300 appearances for the club, and his experience has been key for the side.

Fonte says that Davis is a good mentor for the younger players and he is very grateful to have the 38-year-old on his side.

“I think that people like him are the most important in the dressing room,” Fonte said.“He’s a leader, he’s an example as a professional. He’s a big character and he’s a clown as well – he makes people laugh.

“Especially for the kids he is one they need to look up to because he’s a great professional and a great example how to conduct yourself and be a good football player.”

Despite Fonte's kind words about Davis, it may be that the veteran stopper's role is an off-the-field one from now on.

Davis has been called upon by Southampton in the absence of Fraser Forster, who picked up an injury towards the back end of the campaign, but he has struggled when on the field.

There have been signs of the goalkeeper's advancing years and he looks short of the quality required to play for a team with Southampton's ambition. 

He clearly is still a valued member of the squad, though, and the Saints may choose to keep him around, due to the respect his teammates clearly have for him. 

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