Southampton confirmed the signing of defender Jannik Vestergaard from Borussia Monchengladbach on July 13, 2018.
The 26-year-old agreed a four-year deal at St Mary’s Stadium, and according to Sky Sports his signature cost the Saints £18million.
The 6’6” centre-back was signed to fill the sizeable hole left in the south coast club’s rearguard by the departure of Virgil van Dijk. Those are big shoes to fill at Southampton, but former Saints boss Mark Hughes and the club clearly considered Vestergaard to be up to that task.
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Southampton’s new manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl, may need convincing that Vestergaard should be in his long-term plans, even though he will be familiar with the player from his time managing in Germany. However, so far at least, the 16-cap Denmark international has been a regular fixture in the Austrian’s starting XI.
Vestergaard has played every minute of all but one of the 51-year-old’s league matches in charge so far.
So far this season, the Dane has made 14 Premier League appearances, all as a starter. Across those matches, according to the stats available on WhoScored, he has averaged 1.9 tackles, 1.6 interceptions and 7.4 clearances per game. Those numbers are all fairly impressive, and the number of successful clearances he averages per match is particularly eye-catching.
However, his pass accuracy rating of 77% isn’t spectacular, and he has looked awkward on the ball on a number of occasions this season. In an increasingly fast-paced and intense Premier League, Vestergaard must improve in possession if he is to become the ball-playing centre-back for Southampton that van Dijk was, and Hasenhuttl is likely to want.