Southampton have completed the signing of Denmark defender Jannik Vestergaard from Borussia Monchengladbach.
The 6ft 6in centre-back, 25, has agreed a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee. Vestergaard played in all four of Denmark’s matches at the World Cup in Russia.
After experiencing both the Champions League and Europa League with his German club, the defender is relishing the challenge of the English top flight.
“I knew of the interest before the World Cup and the club has followed me for quite some time and done a lot of scouting, which is also a good sign for me that they know my strengths and weaknesses,” he said on Southampton’s website.
“I feel I’m at a really good place to develop.”
Vestergaard is Southampton‘s first major defensive addition following the departure of Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool.
The commanding centre-half is confident he can step up to the challenges ahead.
“Every Danish guy loves to see himself in the Premier League – it is the biggest league in the world and a very attractive place to play,” he said.
“I still have to experience the Premier League, but I don’t feel there are so many different aspects in the football itself.
“I think there is more awareness in the Premier League that will take some getting used to – the press side of things – but experience is always positive, and having about 200 games in the Bundesliga will make it easier for me to adapt.
“I’m quite a big guy and a physical guy, so I’m going to try to help the team in that way.”
Southampton boss Mark Hughes, who signed a new contract after keeping the club in the Premier League at the end of last season, has been busy shaping the squad for the new campaign.
Highly-rated goalkeeper Angus Gunn has joined from Manchester City, while Norway forward Mohamed Elyounoussi arrived on a five-year deal from Basel and Scotland international Stuart Armstrong came in from Celtic.
Hughes, whose squad have been out in China at the start of their pre-season preparations, believes Vestergaard will prove another valuable addition.
“We have had to fight off a lot of competition to bring Jannik here, and we are delighted he has chosen Southampton as the right place to take the next step in his career,” Hughes said.
“He represents another excellent addition to our squad this summer, and brings with him an extensive amount of experience for his age.”