Southampton agree Eljero Elia loan swoop in winter window
Southampton, 9/2 chances with Coral for a top four finish this term, have bolstered their attack with a loan move for former Netherlands international wideman Eljero Elia, who will join them on January 3rd.
Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has captured his compatriot from Werder Bremen, where 27-year-old Elia had fallen out of favour. The move is likely to become permanent at the end of the season, for a reported cut-price fee of £4m.
Capable of operating down either flank or off the front, ex-Juventus and Hamburg man Elia was a real hit at Eredivisie outfit Twente under current Derby County head coach Steve McClaren, before making big money moves to the Bundesliga and Serie A.
Famously scoring on his senior Netherlands debut against Scotland at Hampden Park in 2009, Elia was part of the squad that reached the World Cup final in South Africa the following year. To date, he has 27 caps and two international goals.
Since being subbed at half time during Bremen’s 6-0 demolition at the Allianz Arena by German champions Bayern Munich back in mid-October, Elia has played less than an hour of first-team football.
When he joined Juventus for around £7m in August 2011, Southampton’s top four rivals and Merseyside neighbours Liverpool (6/1) and Everton (!6/1) were both interested in Elia.
Over three years on, Koeman has got the winger as cover for injured England cap Jay Rodriguez in the January sales. Saints ended a six-match winless run across all competitions by beating Roberto Martinez’s Toffees at home in their last outing.
Elia will add to a Southampton attack which includes top scorer and Italy international Graziano Pelle, Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long and Serbia star Dusan Tadic.
Koeman has sought winter window cover as two of his forward options, Senegal wideman Sadio Mane and Zambia frontman Emmanuel Mayuka, will be leaving St Mary’s to participate at the Africa Cup of Nations with their respective countries.
That victory over Everton was the first time Saints have beaten any of the seven sides that finished above them in the Premier League last term in this current campaign. Southampton are now odds-on at 4/5 to finish in the top six as a result.