Southampton: New contract for key man; summer signing compared to Thierry Henry; youngster joins Blackburn
Claude Puel has been moulding the Southampton squad in his own image since he arrived at the club. With departures creating funds for new signings, the future is looking brighter than many Saints fans predicted at the start of the season.
Another step forward for Puel, and a move that could prove instrumental given his plans for the player, is tying down playmaker Dusan Tadic to a new 4-year contract, as announced on Twitter earlier today.
Tadic has played an instrumental role in the Saints back-to-back record finishes in the Premier League in the past two seasons, and Puel has reiterated how central Tadic will be to the coming campaign.
The Serbian was incredibly effective last season, scoring seven times and contributing 12 assists from the left wing.
Director of Football Les Reed said “Dušan has been an important part of our success in the past two seasons, with his creativity offering the team a valuable dimension.” He added “However, it is not just his ability that makes him a key part of the squad, but also his commitment, determination and focus.”
Tadic went on to emphasise his delight at the new contract, stating: “I am really pleased. I have had two beautiful years here and a great connection with the supporters and everyone in the club.”
Puel continues to be impressed with the squad he’s building, saying that he sees a lot of similarities between new signing Nathan Redmond and Premier League legend Thierry Henry.
The Frenchman, who coached Henry at Monaco, intends to use Redmond as a striker against Watford this weekend.
“I can see a player lots of qualities and for me it’s a pity to leave him on the right. In the future he can play in as a striker.”
The comparisons to the ex-French international didn’t stop there, and Puel went on to say that “they have the ability to shoot with their right foot and to curl the ball. Redmond can feel the play and can combine with his partner. It is a good surprise to find this player.”
Redmond joined the Saints on a five-year deal earlier this summer for a fee rumoured to be around £11 million.
After endless rumours, young striker Sam Gallagher has finally joined Blackburn Rovers on a season long loan.
Gallagher has impressed when he featured for the Saints in recent years, but still isn’t in a position to feature heavily in competitive football for Southampton.
An unimpressive loan spell at MK Dons ended in January this year, but Gallagher returned to score 5 times in 13 games for Southampton’s development side.
The physically imposing striker is a constant threat in the air from both open play and set pieces, and will hope to improve on his performances in the Championship last season under Owen Coyle.
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