16 hours after the summer transfer window shut, Southampton have their man.
Due to a delay over international clearance and paperwork, Saints had to wait until the morning after the window shut to announce the signing of Austrian international Kevin Danso.
The 20-year-old initially joins on a season-long loan from Bundesliga side Augsburg and Saints have an exclusive option to buy the center back/defensive midfielder next summer.
Born in Austria, Danso moved to England as a youngster and came through the ranks at MK Dons’ academy before moving to Germany. He is happy to be back in the UK.
“I’m delighted to join a club that has produced a lot of great players. I’m ready for the challenge and really excited to get started, and also to get to know the fans and the rest of the lads too,” Danso said. “I’m looking forward to working with such a great coach in Ralph Hasenhuttl as well. He has produced a lot of young players and showed a huge amount of belief in them, so I hope I can be another one who can benefit from him. It’s a great opportunity for me to show what I can do. Southampton is a great club, the manager is a great coach, and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.”
Danso fits Saints’ needs perfectly. It is believed he will primarily play as a center back and his no-nonsense style of play will strengthen Southampton’s defensive unit. Alongside Jan Bednarek, Janik Vestergaard and Maya Yoshida, he will battle for one of the three center back slots in Saints’ 5-3-2 system.
Hasenhuttl revealed it was imperative Saints strengthened their defense which leaked 65 goals last season.
“We have made some good additions in our attack during the transfer window, with Che Adams and Moussa Djenepo, and, like them, Kevin is another signing that fits our model of being a talented, young player who adds quality to our first-team squad. He will improve our defensive options, so this is an excellent way for us to finish our business,” Hasenhuttl added.
Southampton are moving back to their model of signing young, hungry players and dangling the carrot of regular PL minutes in front of them. We all know that the likes of Sadio Mane, Virgil Van Dijk and Victor Wanyama have gone on to great things after leaving Saints, and Hasenhuttl will be hoping Adams, Djenepo and now Danso can follow in their footsteps.
Overall, a solid window for Southampton was just made a lot better thanks to a much-needed defensive reinforcement.