Adkins Excited By 'Ambitious' Paulo

By SFC Media Fri 20 Jul Club

Nigel Adkins says he believes new goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga can get even better during his time with Saints.

The 20-year-old signed a four-year deal with the Club this morning after joining up with the squad in Évian-les-Bains.

And First Team Manager Adkins is excited about working with the former Gillingham stopper:

"He is very ambitious, he is young and hungry and wants to do well for Southampton Football Club," he told saintsfc.co.uk.

"He was with Valencia the year before last before coming over to England and getting some games under his belt at Gillingham, which is where our recruitment department spotted him.

"He has a good stature about himself - he is a young lad who has an assured confidence about himself, which is good.

"I know from speaking with him that he has a very good attitude and work ethic, which is important for us.

"He will be in an environment that we think will help him improve under the guidance of our goalkeeping coach, Jim Stannard, and Kelvin Davis, who has a lot of experience and I know that he will take him under his wing.

"Competition for places is very important but, from a goalkeeping point of view, you always work very closely with each other."

With the Saints manager being a former goalkeeper himself, Adkins has a good idea of what makes for a successful custodian.

So what were the attributes that attracted him to Gazzaniga? "The big thing is that Paulo is young," he said.

"If you look at Kelvin for an example, he had a superb year last year and the older that you get the decision making process that you have becomes better.

"You will make some mistakes when you are younger, but as long as you learn from them and don't make the same mistakes twice then you become a better player.

"Distribution is very important - especially in the modern game - and that is something that Paulo exceeds in, but ultimately it is about keeping the ball out of the net."

As part of the deal to bring the former Valencia stopper to St Mary's, Tommy Forecast has moved to Gillingham on a season-loan loan.

"He will fight for a place there to help him get his career going," said Nigel.

"I think it is fair to say that he hasn't had the games that goalkeepers need to have since he has been here at Southampton and, at this stage of his career, he needs to be fighting for a place."

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