In a refreshing approach for the fans, Saints have started their January transfer business early with the acquisition of Eljero Elia on loan from Werder Bremen with a view to a permanent move in the Summer.
Perhaps surprisingly Elia becomes the first Dutch signing of Ronald Koeman’s reign as Saints boss.
The winger/forward has 27 caps for Holland and was part of the 2010 World Cup final squad, but his career has perhaps stalled since then. After impressing for FC Twente (under Steve McLaren) and Hamburg in Germany he has had disappointing spells with Juventus and Werder Bremen.
Once nicknamed ‘the Dutch Balotelli’, Elia has certainly had some controversial moments off the pitch, but also has massive potential and if Ronald Koeman is the right man to tame the off field personality, personally I think this might be another cracking signing.
No one get’s handed that many Holland caps for nothing and the wrong career choices can hamper even the best of players. With Sadio Mane off to the African cup of nations soon, it was pivotal that Saints brought in some cover for the wide areas and if Elia can apply his pace and skill to the Premier League he might just be a massive hit!
Welcome to Southampton Eljero Elia!
p.s. Stay tuned for a Lowdown article with experts soon (probably after Xmas)!