Clyne: I Want To Test Myself

By SFC Media Thu 19 Jul Club

Newly-signed Saints defender Nathaniel Clyne says he can't wait to pit his wits against the giants of the Barclays Premier League.

The England Under 21 international signed a four-year deal at the First Team squad's hotel in Évian-les-Bains.

"It'll be great to be playing amongst the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and all of these top players," he told Saints Player shortly after putting pen-to-paper.

"I want to test myself against big players, and hopefully I'll be able to do that this season.

"As soon as I heard that Southampton were in for me, I was happy and I knew that this was the place where I could try to improve my football, further my career and get a chance to play in the Barclays Premier League.

"I've got to hit the ground running in training to show the gaffer that I'm determined to try and get my spot. Hopefully I can please everyone."

Clyne came up against Saints twice last season during his time with former club Crystal Palace - and it was a couple of torrid afternoons up against the likes of Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana that told him plenty about his new team's playing style.

"I found them difficult to play against last year," admitted the 21-year-old.

"It was hard to play amongst their players because they were keeping the ball well and moving it about, and they beat us twice!

"We play good football which suits my game, and that's what showed me onto this club."

The full-back will now integrate into the Saints squad during the second half of their French training camp - and he will find a couple of familiar faces among the travelling party.

Clyne made his professional debut alongside José Fonte while the Eagles' usual right-back Danny Butterfield was out of the team, and he has now been reunited with them at Saints.

He recalls: "I worked with them both at Palace.

"I know Butterfield really well and he helped me develop my game at right-back when I was in the youth team, so hopefully he'll help me settle down and get me in with the lads.

"I haven't had a chance to talk to any of my new teammates yet, but I'm sure I will be welcomed by the lads and I'll get to know them better."

First Team Manager Nigel Adkins says Clyne will now be assessed by Saints' fitness and medical staffs as a means of deciding how to introduce him into the squad's pre-season schedule.

"Nathan will have a medical screening with [Senior Physiotherapist] Matt Radcliffe so we can see all of the little ins-and-outs that we've got to do to help him on," said the gaffer.

"He'll then have a fitness assessment with [Senior Strength & Conditioning Coach] Nick Harvey, so we'll get an overall picture of where he is at this moment in his pre-season programme.

"We'll then get him involved and put him the structure that we want so we can get him up to speed as quickly as possible."

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