Southampton swoop for Twente midfielder Dusan Tadic
Southampton, 13/10 for a top 10 finish this season, have signed attacking midfielder Dusan Tadic from Dutch club Twente, for an undisclosed fee rumoured to be around the £10m mark.
With this acquisition, Saints have taken their first steps toward assembling an exciting new side, following the departures of key players Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw, who were poached by Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester United.
Tadic has penned a four-year deal, and becomes the first arrival of the Ronald Koeman era, with the Dutchman replacing Mauricio Pochettino at St Mary’s this season.
A key player for former club Twente, Tadic can be deployed on either side of midfield, or in an advanced role behind the striker, and is thought to be the main replacement for recently departed captain Lallana, who joined Brendan Rodgers’ Reds for £25m.
Left-footed playmaker Tadic has netted six times in 25 caps for Serbia, and finished last campaign with an impressive record of 14 assists and 16 goals in the Dutch league, helping Twente to a third place finish.
If Tadic can come close to matching those stats for Koeman’s side, the blow of losing skipper and talisman Lallana would be somewhat lessened. The Southampton academy product was integral to the Saints impressive campaign, and fluid, possession-based football last season, chipping in with nine league goals.
Tadic’s attacking attributes and flair should see him slot in seamlessly at St Mary’s, with Koeman already clued-in on his new creative midfield maestro from his extensive experience in, and knowledge of, the Dutch league.
A set-piece specialist, the Serbian will provide Southampton with an extra dimension, and should be able to thrive in front of solid midfield options such as Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin.
He will, however, be hoping the Saints can secure a striker to replace the Lambert-shaped hole in the squad. A proven poacher who can polish off the abundance of chances Tadic is capable of creating, would be an essential addition.
Southampton are currently linked with Feyenoord forward Graziano Pelle, who has previously worked under Koeman, as well as ex-Arsenal attacker Nicklas Bendtner and Fiorentina winger Ante Rebic.
As for defence, the new Southampton boss is rumoured to be running the rule over Udinese full back, and former West Ham loan star, Pablo Armero, to replace Luke Shaw at left back.
Just some of these potential purchases, in addition to Tadic, will give the Saints, who are 66/1 to secure a top four finish this season, a much needed boost after being raided by their rivals.
If there becomes a buzz around the club again, perhaps Koeman can stave off the vultures, and hold onto the likes of Dejan Lovren and Schneiderlin, who are also coveted by Premier League big guns.