Back

Southampton swoop for Clasie as swift Schneiderlin replacement

Ronald Koeman has wasted no time in filling the hole left by Morgan Schneiderlin’s switch to Manchester United. Southampton, 12/1 for a top four Premier League finish next term with Coral, never let players leave without having someone lined up to plug the gap.

As a result, their quick reactions have seen them push through an £8m transfer for Jordy Clasie from Feyenoord, who has signed a five-year contract. Dubbed the ‘Dutch Xavi’, Clasie played under Koeman when the Saints manager was in charge of the Eredivisie club and his arrival sees him link up with former teammate Graziano Pelle.

“It feels good to be joining Southampton,” said Clasie. “It’s a nice club, and I’m happy to be here. It’s a big club playing in what I think is the biggest and most important league.

“Ronald being here is a big thing for me and that was important in me coming here, but even if he wasn’t here, I’d have come to this club. I played every game for him. He’s a good trainer and a good man so I like him, but I came here not only for him. I came here for the club.

“I’ve watched many games of Southampton, and it’s felt good when I’ve watched these games. I hope that I have many good moments and good years here.”

Tipped to have a bright future, Clasie comes with a serious amount of talent and will add a huge amount of quality to an already well-stocked midfield. With youngster James Ward-Prowse set to play an integral role next season, the duo have the potential to form a potent partnership.

Having made 190 appearances for the club, the player has the requisite experience to progress to a higher level, plus, he has Europa League exposure, something which Koeman will value, with the Saints having qualified to play in the competition next term.

Armed with a range of passing in his repertoire, Clasie is also strong in the tackle and anticipates the pattern of play as well as any other deep-lying playmaker in Europe at his level. Arguably, he is also a more polished player than Schneiderlin and naturally has that touch of class that we have become accustomed to seeing Dutch footballer’s have.

Although Southampton recently suffered a blow when they were unable to retain the services of centre back Toby Alderweireld when he chose to move to Tottenham from Atletico Madrid following a season on loan with the Saints, this signing represent a significant coup.

The club are also tracking a number of other players, with a new centre back deemed a definite priority. Celtic’s Virgil Van Dijk has been identified as a candidate and would be a signing which makes sense, considering another Dutch link.