A closer look at commanding Danish defender Jannik Vestergaard, Saints’ fourth acquisition of the summer.
Standing at 6ft 6in, Jannik Vestergaard is set to provide physical presence, dominant aerial ability and composure in possession in equal measure to the Saints rearguard.
Vestergaard arrives at St Mary’s on the back of a remarkable record of consistency with Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany where his reputation was held among the brightest young defenders in the Bundesliga.
The 25-year-old Dane made a big impact at Bremen, completing 98% of their games in the 2015/16 season.
His reliability, distribution and defensive qualities earned him a spot in Denmark’s 23-man travelling party in Russia for the World Cup finals where they were unfortunate to be denied by Croatia on penalties in the first knockout round.
A familiar face for his national team, Vestergaard’s performances on the domestic scene have seen him garner eight years of top-flight experience with Hoffenheim, Werder Bremen and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Coming through the ranks at Brondby, the Dane made the switch over the border to join Hoffenheim in July 2010.
After three-and-a-half seasons in Sinsheim, where his performances helped establish the club as a regular feature of the Bundesliga’s top half, he was on the move to Werder Bremen where his early promise began to blossom.
A further 18 months as a regular starter and mainstay at the heart of the Bremen defence, where his passing abilities also saw him operate in central midfield followed in northern Germany, where he earned a further 10 Danish caps along the way.
It was enough to convince Monchengladbach to swoop for his services in July 2016.
With that, came valuable European experience in both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League as Gladbach finished third in a group containing Manchester City, Barcelona and Celtic before being eliminated by compatriots Schalke in the Round of 16.
By the end of the 2017/18 campaign, Vestergaard was the top scoring defender in the Bundesliga over the previous two seasons, with his penalty-box presence at set pieces yielding seven goals in all competitions as the Foals collected back-to-back ninth-place finishes. He also blocked more shots (39) than any other player in the Bundesliga.