12 July 2014 19:04
Southampton have confirmed the signing of striker Graziano Pelle from Feyenoord on a three-year deal.
New manager Ronald Koeman revealed on Friday that the transfer was close to being completed, and an official announcement was made on Saturday.
Pelle, who turns 29 on Tuesday, arrives at Southampton having scored 50 goals over the past two Eredivisie campaigns for Feyenoord under Koeman.
Southampton’s squad has been shorn of three of its star players from last term, with Luke Shaw, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana all departing in the close-season.
However, Koeman has begun to bolster his numbers, with Pelle’s arrival following that of Dusan Tadic from Twente earlier this week.
“I’m really happy that it’s finally signed,” Pelle told Southampton’s official website.
“I had some teams interested in me, but this is going to be the best choice for me because the club wants to keep improving every year.
“The talks between us were only short in terms of how long it took to convince each other. I was pretty sure that, for me, this would be a great step.
“[Ronald] Koeman and I worked together for two amazing years at Feyenoord, and I hope that it will be the same here.
“There are many good things about this club other than the trainer. The Premier League is amazing, and Southampton is showing year by year that it wants to improve.
“Last year, everyone in Europe was impressed by the performances of the team, and it’s clear that the club is growing. It’s great to be here.”
Koeman, meanwhile, is hoping his new signing can help fill the void left by Lambert, who scored 28 Premier League goals for the club in the previous two campaigns.
“I had Graziano in my team for my last two years at Feyenoord,” said Koeman. “He scored a lot of goals – more than 50 in two seasons (in all competitions) – and they brought a lot of points to the club.
“Goals mean points, and we needed a good player in that position after Rickie Lambert left.
“In terms of his qualities, he’s a tall striker with a lot of movement and he’s fast. He’s a player who gives confidence to the team because he keeps the ball, and he’s very dangerous in front of goal.”
“Graziano had two fantastic years of performance,” added Feyenoord’s technical director Martin van Geel on the Dutch club’s official website.
“He surpassed all expectations. Graziano has evolved over the past two seasons as a proven goalscorer and as a personality with a huge winning mentality.
“For that we are grateful to him. We wish him every success.”