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Vestergaard Signs For Saints
Friday, 13th Jul 2018 15:16

It's been on the cards for a week now but Jannik Vestergaard is now officially a Saints player, but what does this mean for our other four central defenders ?

Jannik Vestergard has become the fourth signing of the summer for Southampton Football Club in a deal that pushes up the summer transfer fees paid out so far to over £50 million and counting, suggesting that Saints are ready to spend big in revamping the squad.

Vestergaard seems exactly what Saints need at this stage, he is the signing that should have been made in January 2017 when José Fonts left and his arrival will help fix the biggest problem Saints had last season and indeed the season before that being central defence.

Turning 26 the week before the Premier League season starts he has 185 Bundesliga games to his name for Hoffenheim, Werner Bremen and Borussia Monchengladbach and also went to the World Cup in Russia with Denmark.

But. His signing puts big question marks over at least one of our current central defenders perhaps two depending on the formation Mark Hughes is intending playing.

Having signed Wesley Hoedt for big money a season ago and with Jan Bednarek starting to bloom you would assume that they are marked down as two we want to keep.

That leaves Yoshida and Jack Stephens, neither have really established themselves as true Premier League class players, Yoshida is a fans favourite for his 100% commitment, but none of those that love him for that would have had him in front of Dejan Lovren, José Fonte, Tobly Al;derweild or Virgil Van Dijk during his time with the club and the question is whether Saints put sentiment in front of cold harsh decisions.

Jack Stephens is a solid enough player, but he is not of the quality of any of the names, mentioned so far in this article, perhaps he would normally get the nod due to his versatility in the fact that he can also play full back, but so can Yoshida, I think that perhaps Stephens has a career ahead of him as a holding midfield player, but we have enough of those to not need him as cover.

I think one of Yoshida or Stephens will leave the club this season, perhaps both, if not in the summer certainly in January.

Vestergaard though seems delighted to sign and told the club's website.

“Every Danish guy loves to see himself in the Premier League – it is the biggest league in the world and a very attractive place to play as a Danish footballer,” he said.

“It has always been a dream – it is a dream – and right now I’m looking forward to it.

“I still have to experience the Premier League, but I don’t feel there are so many different aspects in the football itself.

“I think there is more awareness in the Premier League that will take some getting used to – the press side of things – but experience is always positive, and having about 200 games in the Bundesliga will make it easier for me to adapt.

“I’m quite a big guy and a physical guy, so I’m going to try to help the team in that way.”

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arthurfane added 15:43 - Jul 13
Great signing, much needed. Yoshida should stay - he's a leader in the side, has a decent bit of pace and has had a very good world cup. Would like to see a back 3 of Bednarek and Yoshi either side of Vestergaard.

schatfield added 15:50 - Jul 13
Happy with this signing. Agree that Yoshi has some pace and would work well alongside a brick sh*thouse type player like this.

....and maybe we will see some fans praise Les Reed now??

andywelsh added 16:25 - Jul 13
I think we will continue to play a back three with two as back ups and therefore nobody will leave. I do not think Saints intend to buy another centre half. Yoshida and Stephens ability to play at right back should the need arise will be useful and Bertrand could play in a back three if injuries/suspensions hit. Targett will not be sold and Ward Prowse has been tried at right wing back in China, not particularly successfully, but it could prove useful to have his delivery on the pitch at times without removing offensive possibilities. I can see a potential tactical fluidity in the side and I think that is what Hughes is after. He wants to be able to change personnel and change tactics during games. That's something that hasn't happened for a couple of years as like for like replacements became the norm.

SaintNick added 16:29 - Jul 13
I'm sorry guys I don't agree , Yoshida has many qualities but he not a leader he has been here 6 years and never established himself

richardmdcooper added 16:37 - Jul 13
I've never understood why you dislike Yoshida so much. A decent back-up and more reliable than Hoedt in my opinion. My defense would be Bertrand-Vestergaard-Bednarek with Targett at left wing back and either JWP or soares at right wing back

richardmdcooper added 16:38 - Jul 13
Plus Yoshida seems to be a very popular member of the squad and good dressing-room guy with a ton of experience. Think Stephens will be the one to go - prob on loan to a top half championship team

helpineedsomebody added 16:44 - Jul 13
yoshi & jack need to play,
so free transfers for the pair of them
still need to invest in the team a play maker plus a real classy young centre forward that will cost big money that will get st marys ROCKING

redandwhitedee added 16:47 - Jul 13
Why do you think a CB has to leave ?? He simply replaces Gardos.
Or even replaces Gardos and VVD. Bednarek replaced Fonte. If you are planning to play a back 3 as we clearly are now then having 2 decent replacements on the bench and/or injury room is a sensible idea.

redandwhitedee added 16:49 - Jul 13
By the way, Harrison reed is a serious alternative to Cedric/jwp at right wing back.

redandwhitedee added 16:52 - Jul 13
Your misguided (and very much solitary) views on yoshida are bizarre. Was your father/grandfather a POW in the pacific maybe ?? It really smacks of a vendetta against a guy the majority of real supporters love.

A1079 added 17:03 - Jul 13
Very pleased with this signing and the work thus far this summer that the club have been doing and are doing. None of it offers any guarantees once the season starts, but at least I feel the club are getting the team in place and ready for the season rather than the recent years of last minute panics and on and off field issues and debates which have effected the team going into the start.

I like Yoshida alot. I do think he is a bit of a leader and motivator. I agree he is not 100% solid and he has his moments, but he has been no less reliable than Hoedt was last season (and I am not saying he is bad but he was disappointing and made as many, if not more, errors than the other defenders who stood in - now that may in part have been due to the overall issues in the team and management but his anticipation and losing the ball at critical times was poor).

I am not sure anyone in defence needs to go, but as much as I like him and he has done a sterling job standing in, Stephens is probably the weakest link in the pack. If he is moved on, then I hope he does well.

the_saint added 17:20 - Jul 13
I’m with nick on this one I like yoshi and think we should keep him for back up but not good enough for regular spot

SaintGeorge added 17:24 - Jul 13
Other four central defenders?

the_saint added 17:29 - Jul 13
Spent 51 mil on players, but have sold tadic for what was it 10 mil and wonder if we got a loan fee for Carrillo also can see boufel, Davis, Fraser and maybe a c/b going to balance the books. Excited about arrivals though and looking forward to the new season with optimism

GeordieSaint added 17:39 - Jul 13
If it is a back three jack Stephens is the obvious choice for sweeper, it could play to his strengths with the ball and provide extra cover in defence.

the_saint added 17:51 - Jul 13
Oh and Cassie

FrankSaint added 18:23 - Jul 13
Regarding Yoshi I agree about his passion on the pitch. The guy really cares and I think he is a club legend in the making - a thinking man's Francis Benali ;-) No offence Franny. I also agree that it is the fact he is Japanese that means he is under rated. We just don't associate Japan with football despite some decent world cup showings in recent years. Yoshi has made some amazing recovering tackles that most other defenders including the very best are not capable of doing and also scored some marvellous goals including that scissor kick at Stoke and that long range shot at the end of a long run that turned around our season after a barren spell. He often gets into vulnerable positions because others are not doing their job properly and he does not hide when there is danger. And each season he gets better and better. Everyone should encourage him rather than cast seeds of doubt in his direction or make him feel so unappreciated that he leaves. A similar attitude among fans towards Tadic probably contributed to him leaving and whatever his difficulties he cared about the club and football too. It is bad enough that Saints have very few homegrown players in the side. Can we at least appreciate those that love it? I say let's love our Samarai.

KriSaint added 18:49 - Jul 13
Very, very encouraging signing. No nonsense defender with good timing and balance for his size. Leader. A serious threat on corners. Speaks perfect english. We are lucky to have gotten him.
I´d like to keep both Stephens and Yoshida for at least another season and I think we might benefit a lot (more than people think) from the competition for places among our centerbacks.

schatfield added 19:30 - Jul 13
Its strange how we look back on some of our ex-players like Franny Benalli and Claus Lundekvan - i watched them play and they were awful defenders in many games! certainly no better/worse than Yoshi, but because they stayed loyal and ended their careers with us, they are deemed 'legends' - so why do we have such a split group on how Yoshi is seen? I am sure, if he has his say on it, he would end his career with us likewise. I do think he has many attributes, defending aside, that make him a solid player. So if Franny/Claus are seen as legends, why not this Saint!

kenis added 20:20 - Jul 13
I think it’s pretty even across all the cbs, Hoedt made a number of mistakes and is a bit of a one trick pony with his step over inside, Yosh makes fewer mistakes when he plays regularly and Stephens is also prone to being in the wrong place when needed/losing his man. Bednarek, like Stephens, is very young and relatively inexperienced, can’t say he’s a dead cert starter based on the handful of games seen so far - Jannik is coming from a stronger league with more experience. I don’t think any of those should be considered as full back / wing back cover, Yoshida is an emergency full back only in a real emergency

We are clearly going to play three at the back, Yoshida has the most PL experience of all of them and a bit more pace than the others so can see him being a regular on the bench or even a starter, it really depends if Jannik is strong enough on the ball and has the concerntration levels to have that central berth or if he’s going to play alongside that person. We can’t afford to have the back three only able to lump it and give away possession or do very short under no pressure passes to the wing back or one of the two holding/central mids because if that’s all they can do we’ll be outnumbered and suffer against teams with a high press and just see sideways ball when teams sit deeper.

Either way we need at least the five we have, one of McQueen, Target or Bert are going. If Bert goes (was a dead cert at end of season and he said played like he wants to leave) then we’d be short of cb cover and could even add.

Key question is right wing back really: is Soares staying?, will Reed or JWP or even Long be seen in that role?, is the French kid ready to play?

KriSaint added 21:02 - Jul 13
schatfield ,

I´ve been waiting for a fully justified comment like yours - about Former "legendary" defenders shortcomings...
I gradually came to like Benali because of his commitment to Saints, but in all honesty he was pretty bad on the ball and probably got me bald before I was 30 ;). Bergkamp must have loved to play against Benali.
Remember Lundekvams "clearings" with his head.....? OMG
Remember Doddsy´s lack of pace...?I remember calling my son "Jason Dodd" when he was slow at something.
Yes - loyalty means so much and is the reason why I love Dodd, Benali and Lundekvam.

Sanguin added 21:12 - Jul 13
We have five centre backs and we play with three at the back. We don't need to get rid of any.

perazi added 23:00 - Jul 13
More comedy gold from Nick. All we need now is an article from him telling us how brilliant JWP is going to be for us one day.

highfield49 added 10:22 - Jul 14
Nick, I was also in the Yoshi doubters camp until recent weeks. I've changed my mind having realised that the club has rarely utilised his strengths and often set him up to fail by using him as a gap player. To his credit Yoshi has done everything he has been tasked to do with no complaint despite attracting criticism for doing his job to the best of his ability. I'm not sure that he'll ever be a legend but I now respect the effort he has put in to cover the deficiencies of others.

underweststand added 15:25 - Jul 15
I'm yet another Yoshida fan. If anything his main fault is not being "vocal " at the back.
His quiet, well-mannered demeanour hides a player with skill and dedication.
Why is he still at Saints?. Answer is probably in his shirt number 3 , which he earned when Danny Fox's star was on the wane, and Luke Shaw was already a MU transfer in the making.

Whilst Fonte played right sided, Yoshi played the left CB role and it was only the untimely arrival/departure of Lovren, and later VvD that kept him on the bench. Lovren and VvD made their own history, but Yoshi has remained " loyal " - (a word that went out of fashion with MLT)...but surely Yoshi could have had /deserved a better career elsewhere.

His place in the Japan's World Cup side is surely a recommendation of some sort, and the idea of having an extra CB is no problem for me. Going back 12 years(?) ...6 CB's weren't enough for us at one time with so many on the injured list, and it was the emergence of a career for (one) Chris Baird.
So....I like Yoshi at the club, and if he is humble enough to sit on the bench every week, without complaint, then more honour to him for that.

As this thread is about Vestergaard, there's little more to say. Signing him was a no-brainer, and you can play him in front of anyone you like..he is the proverbial "brick wall".

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