Hasenhuttl spells out Southampton task for new signing Romeo Lavia after Man City exit

Romeo Lavia, Manchester City midfielder, during Carabao Cup clash against Wycombe at Etihad Stadium

Romeo Lavia has spoken of his excitement after joining Southampton on a permanent transfer from Manchester City.

The 18-year-old joined the Manchester City academy in 2020 and began training with the first team one year later. He made his debut for them in a September 2021 Carabao Cup match.

Another appearance in the FA Cup followed, but Lavia never made a Premier League appearance for City. Now, he has several to look forward to with Southampton.

The South Coast club have signed Lavia on a contract until 2027. It makes the midfielder their fourth signing of the summer.

Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl believes the onus is now on the “extremely talented” Belgian to show he belongs in the top flight.

Hasenhuttl told their club website: “Romeo is an extremely talented young player at the start of his career who is open-minded and wants to learn and develop his game with us.

“We are very excited to sign him ahead of many other interested clubs. It proves that we have a positive reputation for improving young players, which we have worked hard to build up over the years.

“Romeo is coming from one of the best teams in the world, learning from the best manager and the best players. Now it is up to him to show us why he deserves to play in the Premier League, as we hope to help take his game to the next level.”

Romeo Lavia reveals Southampton hopes

For former Anderlecht product Lavia, joining Southampton feels like an ideal next step for his development.

Lavia said: “I’m really delighted to join this club. I think this club has a really good culture with young players, so I’m really happy to be here.

“When I heard of the interest of Southampton I was buzzing because there’s an opportunity for young players to develop as much as possible and I’m very excited.”

Neither club have confirmed the size of the transfer fee for Lavia. However, reports before the announcement suggested it is in the region of £12m.

There are also claims that City will retain a buyback clause that could be as high as £40m.

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