Southampton adds Werder Bremen winger on loan


Beginning January 3, Dutch winger Eljero Elia will be available for selection to Ronald Koeman and Southampton after signing a loan deal until the end of the season.

The loan deal has an option to buy, which reports suggest Southampton is likely to trigger.

With Saido Mane losing his stunning early-season form and headed away for the Africa Cup of Nations in early 2015, and Jay Rodriguez continuing to rehab from his ACL tear and taking longer than expected, the attacking midfielder is a solid addition.

Elia came close to an England spell two years ago when he nearly signed for now-relegated Fulham, but now will make his way to the Premier League. According to Bremen manager Thomas Eichin, Elia “had highs and lows at Werder and is now seeking a new challenge.”

The 27-year-old burst onto the scene in his home country with Dutch heavyweights FC Twente, and he continued that success at Hamburg after a switch in 2009. But since transferring to Juventus for $11 million in 2011, he’s struggled. He moved to Bremen less than a year later, and has five goals and eight assists in 68 appearances (55 starts).

You can take a look at a solid statistical breakdown of Elia’s decline here in a great article in the Washington Post by Jimmy Coverdale of STATS.

Elia also has 27 caps for the Dutch national team and was part of their 2010 World Cup squad.