Gavin Bazunu wants to take his game to the next level and hopes to become Southampton’s No 1 after sealing his move from Manchester City – but a second goalkeeper signing the same day already gives the Irishman some added competition.
The 20-year-old Ireland goalkeeper leaves City for Saints in a deal reportedly costing an initial £12m. However, if all goes according to plan, the deal can eventually net the Cityzens £15m thanks to add-ons in the five-year deal he’s signed.
Bazunu, 20, joined City as a 16-year-old back in 2018, paying Shamrock Rovers just £420,000. And having not made a single first-team appearance under Pep Guardiola, the sale represents a significant mark-up for City.
That said, Bazunu does boast 10 international caps for the Republic of Ireland. Looking a very capable keeper, he shot to fame saving a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty last season.
However, Bazunu is clear in his mind what his next steps are.
Speaking to the club’s official website, he insists he can’t wait to get started. And he says the opportunity to play first-team football was behind his decision to leave.
“I’m delighted to be here. It’s been in the works for a few weeks and I’m really happy that we’ve got everything over the line. I’m just excited to see what’s ahead,” Bazunu said.
“I feel like it’s a place I can come and develop and learn my game. The biggest thing is opportunity – the fact that I can come here and have a chance to play regular football. Just to be given that opportunity to fight for my place is the biggest thing that I could’ve asked for.”
Hasenhuttl welcomes Gavin Bazunu signing
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl also reckons Bazunu has the ability to push for a first-team place.
“As a club, we are always on the lookout for young talent. And Gavin is a very exciting addition to the squad,” he said.
“We believe he has tremendous potential to improve and will give us great competition for places in the goalkeeping department.
“He is already an international goalkeeper, which is very rare for his age. Coming from Manchester City, we know he has learned from some of the very best coaches and teammates.
“Coming here gives him more opportunities to develop his game through playing in the Premier League.”
With Fraser Forster departing for Tottenham, Bazunu will compete with Alex McCarthy for a place in the side.
Saints also bring in another goalkeeper
Saints later announced the arrival of a second goalkeeper, with Mateusz Lis arriving as a free agent from Turkish club Altay SK.
Lis, 25, has agreed a five-year deal and Hasenhuttl believes his signing further strengthens their options.
“Mateusz is a player who has a lot of the right attributes we look for in a goalkeeper, and still with his best years ahead of him.
“Of course, it was a priority for us to strengthen this department in the summer. Mateusz is an important addition who we hope will be able to help us in the future.”
Saints now look strong in the goalkeeping department and the capture of Bazumu is a smart signing.
Despite his tender years, he looks good enough to play in the Premier League and he will surely start the season as No 1.
Indeed, he will take over the mantle as the Premier League’s youngest No 1 if he does so.
That is currently held by Leeds’ Illan Meslier. The France U21 star has been their undisputed first choice for the last two seasons and has proven himself more than capable of handling life in the Premier League.
Saints will be hoping Gavin Bazunu proves equally as capable.