Saints swoop for Lavia


Southampton Football Club is delighted to announce it has completed the signing of 18-year-old midfielder Roméo Lavia from Manchester City on a five-year contract.

A Belgium Under-21 international, Lavia was on the books of Anderlecht in his homeland from the age of eight, before joining City at 16.

Last summer he began training with Pep Guardiola’s first team, making his senior debut as a starter in a 6-1 victory over League One side Wycombe in the Carabao Cup.

His second and final first-team appearance for the Premier League champions came as a substitute at Swindon in the FA Cup third round in January.

A tenacious ball-winning midfielder, Lavia becomes Saints’ fourth signing of the summer following the arrivals of goalkeepers Gavin Bazunu and Mateusz Lis, and defender Armel Bella-Kotchap.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl said: “Roméo is an extremely talented young player at the start of his career who is open-minded and wants to learn and develop his game with us.

“We are very excited to sign him ahead of many other interested clubs. It proves that we have a positive reputation for improving young players, which we have worked hard to build up over the years.

“Roméo is coming from one of the best teams in the world, learning from the best manager and the best players. Now it is up to him to show us why he deserves to play in the Premier League, as we hope to help take his game to the next level.”

Roméo Lavia said: “I’m really delighted to join this club. I think this club has a really good culture with young players, so I’m really happy to be here.

“When I heard of the interest of Southampton I was buzzing because there’s an opportunity for young players to develop as much as possible and I’m very excited.”