DOHA QATAR - JANUARY 13: Maya Yoshida of Japan in action during the Asian Cup Group B match between Syria and Japan at Qatar Sports Club Stadium on January 13 2011 in Doha Qatar. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
Maya Yoshida leaves VVV-Venlo in the Eredivisie for the Premier League and Southampton.
After conceding five times in their first two matches of the season, Southampton knew that they would have to strengthen their defense if they wanted to avoid relegation. That is what they did on Thursday, snapping up Japan international Maya Yoshida from VVV- Venlo for an undisclosed fee.
"To come to the Premier League was one of my biggest dreams since I was a child," Yoshida told the club's website. "I am very grateful to be able to become a Saint and I will do my best for the team and for the supporters.
A centerback, Yoshida is very good on the ball, which will help a Saints squad that has a nasty habit of giving the ball away in bad places. At 6'2'', Yoshida is big enough to handle the physicality of the Premier League and has no problem putting in a tackle. His problem will be adjusting to the speed of the English game because there are times where he gets beat with pace.
Yoshida moved from Nagoya Grampus in the J-League to VVV and the Dutch Eredivisie three years ago. He was a regular for VVV and while he did play reasonably well, VV's defense was among the worst in the league.