Graziano Pellè has joined Southampton on a three-year contract, following the club’s new manager Ronald Koeman from Feyenoord to St Mary’s for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £9m.
The 28-year-old Italy striker spent the past two seasons working under Koeman in the Eredivisie, scoring 50 goals in 57 appearances, and has been earmarked as a replacement for Rickie Lambert. He becomes the club’s second signing of the summer after Dusan Tadic joined from FC Twente on Tuesday.
“I’m really happy that it’s finally signed,” Pellè said. “I had some teams interested in me, but this is going to be the best choice for me because the club wants to keep improving every year. The talks between us were only short in terms of how long it took to convince each other. I was pretty sure that, for me, this would be a great step.
“Koeman and I worked together for two amazing years at Feyenoord, and I hope that it will be the same here. There are many good things about this club other than the trainer. The Premier League is amazing, and Southampton is showing year-by-year that it wants to improve.
“Last year, everyone in Europe was impressed by the performances of the team, and it’s clear that the club is growing. It’s great to be here.”
Koeman, who has plans to strengthen his squad further before their opening Premier League game against Liverpool, believes Pellè’s experience will be helpful to his young squad.
“Goals mean points, and we needed a good player in that position after Rickie Lambert left. In terms of his qualities, he’s a tall striker with a lot of movement and he’s fast. He’s a player who gives confidence to the team because he keeps the ball, and he’s very dangerous in front of goal.
“He’s almost 29 years old, so he brings a little bit of experience to a young team. Overall, we’re pleased to have brought in Graziano after signing Dusan Tadic earlier this week. This shows we are committed to strengthening the team and progressing after last season. We know that we need some more players because we haven’t occupied all of the positions. We need more players to bring the squad to where we need and expect.”