Saturday, 7 July 2012

Saints Bring In Experienced Davis

Southampton have announced the signing of Northern Ireland international Steven Davis from cash-strapped Rangers. The Northern Ireland international joins the Premier League new boys as a free agent on a three-year-deal after rejecting a transfer to the newco at Ibrox. Davis becomes Nigel Adkins' second signing of the summer following the arrival of Jay Rodriguez who signed from Burnley last month. 

ON THE MOVE: Steven Davis
It is the experience that the Saints had been looking for as a small minority of the first-team squad have previously applied their trade in the Premier League. To survive in the top flight, every club needs to count on  experience as it can prove key in some vital matches which is where Davis comes in. The 27-year-old joins a Southampton side who are still realing from back-to-back promotions and he will apply his trade in the Premier League for a second spell. He joined Aston Villa from a young age and was part of the FA Youth Cup winning team of 2002 where they defeated Everton 4-2. Ironically, Davis scored his first senior goal against his new club for Villa in a 3-2 win at St. Mary's back in 2005. 

He then joined Fulham on loan for the 2007-2008 season before joining Rangers on a permanent deal after that very same season. During his time in the blue half of Glasgow, he made 140 appearances for the club scoring 17 times including in the win over Old Firm rivals Celtic in last year's Scottish League Cup final. He was part of the team who made the UEFA Cup final in 2008 against Zenit St. Petersburg however the Russians triumphed in Manchester. Overall, Davis had won three SPL titles, two Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups and was also made temporary captain for Rangers during the beginning of last season.

It has been a mixed 2012 for Davis as he was awarded the Northern Ireland captaincy by manager Michael O'Neill and of course the well-known financial struggles at Rangers where they went into administration in February and were forced into liquidation last month. There had been rumours surrounding Davis' possible arrival to St. Mary's in the past few weeks in the media and a small section of it reported that the rumours were 'wide of the mark'. Despite this, Southampton, as always, kept their low profile on the topic of transfers where it became a success once again as the fans thought it was going to be the arrival of Dutch left-back Alexander Büttner from Vitesse Arnhem. 

After signing for the Saints on Friday night, Steven Davis said that he couldn't wait to get going by saying: "I'm delighted to get everything done and dusted, and I'm looking forward to getting started. There was quite a bit of interest in me from other clubs but, after speaking to the chairman and the manager, I saw the level of ambition the Club has shown." 

Here is a selection of Saints fans who gave their opinions on the arrival of Steven Davis:

@ReynoldsJ6: "Will provide further creativity in the centre of midfield and increase competition for places #saintsfc"

@ConnorArmstrong: "Steady, solid, experienced, in his prime and free? Absolutely no complaints. Could well be a very important signing for Saints."

@hartysaintboy2: "He's experienced and a leader just what we need."

@SaintsCorner: "Decent player & an upgrade on Hammond but still expect to see Cork & Schneiderlin establish themselves as premier CM duo."

@_transferstalk_: "Good midfielder with bags of Premier League experience and goals, and an international captain too! Couldn't say no for free!" 

@GeoEastwood7: "Talented, experienced centre mid who has played in the Premier League and captained Rangers in SPL. One a free as well :)"

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