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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Jul 12, 2014

Graziano Pelle signs for Southampton

Italian striker Graziano Pelle will link up with Ronald Koeman for the third time in his career.

Southampton have confirmed the signing of Italian striker Graziano Pelle from Feyenoord for an undisclosed fee on a three-year deal.

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New Saints boss Ronald Koeman -- who previously signed Pelle when coaching Feyenoord in 2012 -- targeted the forward to strengthen the Premier League side's front line after Rickie Lambert's transfer to Liverpool.

The striker impressed during his two seasons in Rotterdam, hitting 50 goals in 57 Eredivisie games as Koeman guided his side to a second-placed finish last term.

Pelle is the second signing that Koeman has made from the Dutch league, also bringing in Dusan Tadic from Twente for an undisclosed fee following the departures of influential trio Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Lambert.

"I'm really happy [the contract] that it's finally signed," Pelle told the club's official website on Saturday. "I had some teams interested in me, but this is going to be the best choice for me because the club wants to keep improving every year.

"The talks between us were only short in terms of how long it took to convince each other. I was pretty sure that, for me, this would be a great step.

"[Ronald] Koeman and I worked together for two amazing years at Feyenoord, and I hope that it will be the same here.

"There are many good things about this club other than the trainer. The Premier League is amazing, and Southampton is showing year-by-year that it wants to improve.

"Last year, everyone in Europe was impressed by the performances of the team, and it's clear that the club is growing. It's great to be here."

Koeman claimed that Pelle was an important deal after the loss of Lambert to Anfield, but is still looking for more additions.

"I had Graziano in my team for my last two years at Feyenoord, he said. "He scored a lot of goals -- more than 50 in two seasons -- and they brought a lot of points to the club.

"Goals mean points, and we needed a good player in that position after Rickie Lambert left.

"In terms of his qualities, he's a tall striker with a lot of movement and he's fast. He's a player who gives confidence to the team because he keeps the ball, and he's very dangerous in front of goal.

"We know that we need some more players because we haven't occupied all of the positions. We need more players to bring the squad to where we need and expect."

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