English Premiership

Saints' hail good transfer planning

2015-09-03 07:35
Virgil van Dijk (Getty Images)

London - Southampton's Executive Director of Football Les Reed has praised the club's summer transfer activity and called the deadline day signing of Virgil van Dijk from Scottish champions Celtic the "icing on the cake".

The Dutch defender became the Saints' ninth signing of a busy close season and Reed put the club avoiding a last-minute scramble to bring players in down to good planning.

Of the eight players signed before Van Dijk, only 17-year-old goalkeeper Harry Lewis and defensive midfielder Oriol Romeu joined in August.

All the club's other targets, including Cuco Martina, Juanmi, Maarten Stekelenburg, Steven Caulker, Jordy Clasie and Cedric Soares, were signed in July.

"It's a good feeling to finish without any panic or frenzy," Reed, the former FA technical director, said.

"We planned it very, very early. We did all of our research and background stuff, and got started on the business as soon as the transfer window opened.

"We managed to complete most of them (signings) very, very quickly and that left us with just one deal to do on deadline day and that's gone through smoothly.

"We set about working out what our targets would in terms of positions, and I'm pleased to say that we ticked every box and we got them all in," Reed added.

Reed was particularly pleased with the arrival of Van Dijk, and backed the 24-year-old to develop into a world-class talent at Southampton.

"Virgil's the icing on the cake at the end of it, so I'm very, very pleased to have landed him," Reed was quoted as saying on the club website (www.saintsfc.co.uk).

"A lot of things about his profile, his age, his potential and his experience fit the bill for the Southampton way.

"For a young man, he's had a lot of experience. He's a very deep-thinking footballer, a very intelligent boy and a great character -- just what we needed in the dressing room, so he fits the bill in that respect," he added.

"He's 24 so he's got a lot more to come, and we think he'll have a long international career with Holland so we think he'll come to us and develop.

"We've got a good track record of bringing in players who are young and hungry and turning them into top players -- and we think that he will do exactly the same."


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