Romain Perraud has revealed he sought advice from former teammate Ibrahima Diallo before putting pen to paper on a four-year deal at Southampton.
The 23-year-old left-back, who has become Saints’ first signing of the summer, was a teammate of Diallo at former club Stade Brest in France, and the pair have kept in touch.
Perraud, who declared his excitement to test himself in the Premier League, has clearly done his research on his new club.
“Before my signature I sent many messages on WhatsApp with Ibra Diallo,” he said.
“He (Diallo) spoke with me about the club, the environment of the club and he told me good news. Ibra is a very good person, so I can have confidence in him.
“I know many players, like Kevin Keegan and Peter Shilton, and I know this club has won one FA Cup in 1976. I know this club. There have been many good players here, like Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott, who is here now.
“For me, it’s the best league in the world, the Premier League. I’m very excited to try to challenge myself in this championship.
“When I was young, I would watch the games on the TV. I went to see a game in London and I was impressed by the intensity.”
An attacking full-back with an eye for goal, Perraud cited compatriot Patrice Evra as an inspiration, before describing his own style of play.
“My first job is to defend. After, when I can, I try to attack down the channel; to cross and to shoot,” he said. “I try to be generous with the other players.
“I think I can progress in every department every day in the training ground to be the best of me. The most important is the collective. After, if the manager trusts in me, I will be ready.”