• Premier League

Southampton announce Yoshida capture

ESPN staff
August 30, 2012
Maya Yoshida skippered Japan at the Olympics © PA Photos

Southampton have confirmed a deal to sign Japan defender Maya Yoshida from Dutch side VVV-Venlo.

Yoshida, who captained his country at the London Olympics, is set to pen a three-year contract in a deal reportedly worth £2 million to join the newly-promoted south-coast club.

He has already been granted a work permit by the Home Office, with the defender only waiting on an entry clearance to finalise his move.

''I am very grateful to be able to become a Saint and I will do my best for the team and for the supporters,'' he told the club's website. ''To come to the Premier League was one of my biggest dreams since I was a child.''

Saint boss Nigel Adkins, who completely dismissed the prospect of landing the 24-year-old following the weekend's 2-0 home defeat to Wigan, is thrilled with the move.

''We are delighted to bring in Maya to the club,'' Adkins said. ''He is a centre-half who is comfortable on both the right and left-hand side as he is good with both feet and has a good physical presence about himself. We are really looking forward to working with him here at Southampton.''

Central defender Yoshida has made 17 appearances for Japan and will compete for a place at the heart of the back four after the Saints began their return to the top flight, following a seven-year absence, with back-to-back defeats.

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