Southampton fans were bemused as the January transfer window slammed shut with Jose Fonte leaving for West Ham United and Virgil van Dijk suffering a serious injury, and no centre-back arriving at St Mary’s.
That left Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens as the first-choice partnership at the heart of Saints’ defence, but supporters were worried and the club must have been too.
A little over a week later, it had been announced that the south coast outfit had agreed a deal to sign free agent Martin Caceres until the end of the season, although there was a certain risk around the move with the Uruguayan not playing for a year himself because of injury.
Despite that, the former Barcelona and Juventus man was in contention to start in Southampton’s defeat to Manchester United in the EFL Cup final last week, but he was an unused substitute in the end.
The 29-year-old did make his debut for the Under-23 side against Chelsea on Monday night though, and Saints supporters were quickly impressed with what they saw from the central defender, with some already excited about the potential partnership he could have with Virgil van Dijk, even though that isn’t on the cards until nearer the end of the campaign because of the duo’s fitness issues.
Here is a selection of the opinions on Twitter…
I do like the look of Caceres so far, very composed.
— Jack (@VivaVirgil) March 6, 2017
— Hang 20 Manolo (@charlielnf) March 6, 2017
— Ruth Alice Pollock (@RuthpollockRuth) March 6, 2017
Caceres looking very sharp tonight. #saintsfc
— Dan (@danbsfc) March 6, 2017
Gotta say Caceres looks cool under pressure and very confident.
— Robbie (@SAINTSINFRANCE) March 6, 2017
Really like the look of Caceres too. I know it's only an U23 game, but he looks composed + tough to beat. Him and VVD will be ???????? #saintsfc
— Charlie Hawkins (@charliehawk93) March 6, 2017
Caceres is so good
— Alman (@Almangrayhairs) March 6, 2017
Caceres really is looking top class. #saintsfc
— ✍???? (@RLGraphix) March 6, 2017