Juan Larios believes his football upbringing has played a huge part in maturing him quickly, paving the way for the 18-year-old to commit his long-term future to Southampton.
Born on the outskirts of Seville, the defender moved to Barcelona at the age of 12, and then to Manchester at 16, but hopes to have found a settled home on England’s south coast.
Those experiences, Larios feels, have accelerated his growth as a person, and he spoke impressive English in his first interview as a Saint.
“It was very good, not only for my football but for my life, because I have experienced some things that maybe other boys don’t experience,” he reflected.
“Now I’m more mature. At 12 years old I was living alone – obviously I’m from Seville, my family was there, and I was in Barcelona.
“I moved to England, which was a huge jump, different because I didn’t know the language. Everything has been good for my football and for my life as well.”
Larios, who knows Roméo Lavia from their time together at Man City, says his fellow 18-year-old’s impact at St Mary’s was “huge” in convincing him to sign.
“I like the philosophy of the club – to develop young players, trust them, so I think it’s my place to develop,” he said.
“I was in talks with the manager and the club. They showed me how brave they are, told me they believe in me for now and for the future. I’m really looking forward to the start.
“I know about the stadium, St Mary’s, I know the fans are really, really involved in the team.
“I know the people of Southampton are Southampton fans, and that’s the thing that I like. The people love the team of the city.”