Vestergaard wants to lead from the back

By SFC Media Sat 14 Jul Transfer News
Photo by James Bridle | Jannik Vestergaard

Jannik Vestergaard hopes to become Southampton’s leader from the back, but admits he must first earn the respect of his teammates.

The 6ft 6in defender has been a commanding presence at the heart of the Borussia Mönchengladbach defence for the past two seasons, and hopes to transfer those qualities from the Bundesliga to the Premier League.

But first, Vestergaard says he must prove to his new coaches and colleagues that he is ready to take on such responsibility.

“I do like to be a leader on the pitch, but I have to find my role here first and earn the other players’ trust,” he said.

“I’m not expecting to come in here and tell the guys who have been here a long time what to do, but I will try to find a role in the team and eventually take more responsibility if it is also wanted by my teammates and by the coaches.

“I think it is important that my teammates accept me and respect me first, and that is my job for the next weeks and months – to earn their respect.”

One of those teammates who is already familiar to Vestergaard is fellow Denmark international Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who helped convince his compatriot to sign.

“He told me a lot of positive things,” Vestergaard revealed. “He had some ups and downs here in his first season, but he was always treated well.

“The main thing he said is that he was seen as a human, not a machine or just a football player.

“I think that’s very important, and the way to get the best performances out of other players.

“That was an important part of me choosing to come here.”

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