Vestergaard: “Easy settling at Saints”

By SFC Media time Thu 26 Jul Pre-season
Photo by Matt Watson | Jannik Vestergaard

Jannik Vestergaard has taken a wedding, a World Cup, a new home and new club in his sizeable stride in the past few weeks.

The Danish defender had already enjoyed a whirlwind start to his summer before becoming a Saints player at the start of July but has found the transition from Monchengladbach to Southampton via Russia a very smooth one.

Fast forward a week or so and the past few days with the squad in Évian as part of the second phase Mark Hughes’s pre-season preparations have given Vestergaard the perfect opportunity to acclimatise to take stock of those changes and acclimatise to his new surroundings both on and off the field.

“The people I’ve met here with the team, players, staff, coaches have all been very friendly and helpful trying to make the transition as easy as possible for me,” he said.

“Away from the field, my wife and I have had support from everywhere, down to helping us to find us somewhere to live. All of that has taken the weight off our shoulders so I can focus on the job here. Help really has come from everywhere since we arrived in England.”

Fortunately for Jannik, one familiar face and a handful of other new ones in the same situation have made his first weeks as a Saints player on the training ground as easy as possible.

“I’m getting to know everyone, also by their nicknames which is a little confusing for me! I’m learning more about the players day by day, of course also on the field. It’s been a good couple of days so far already.

“It’s natural that the new guys look for each other early on, they find someone who is experiencing the same thing for the first time. I know Pierre very well, he’s been helping me a lot. It’s been easy to settle.”

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - JULY 23: Players board the plane as Southampton FC take part in their first day of their pre-season training camp, Jannik Vestergaard(L), Mohamed Elyounoussi(centre) and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg(R) on July 23, 2018 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Jannik joins his compatriot Pierre-Emile Højbjerg in the Saints squad.

So, with all going smoothly around him and some first-team minutes already in the bank at Derby the previous weekend, now is the time for the 25-year-old to get truly get stuck into his Saints career after a summer of international focus.

After all, the new Premier League season and the visit of Burnley to St Mary’s is now just 18 days away.

“Pre-season is the phase that every footballer enjoys the least, it’s very tough and demanding. We will improve fitness and football in these weeks and we all know that it will help us during the season.

SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 09: A local youth team joins in with Southampton players during a Southampton FC training session, while on their pre season tour of China, on July 9, 2018 in Xuzhou, China. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

“The World Cup was both a positive and negative experience for me. I wanted to play more and help the team on the pitch but it was an amazing experience to see the attention, the media and so many people travelling from all over the world to follow their countries.

“The first game of the new league season is very important, you want to get off to a good start - especially at home - but it is a long campaign; this camp will focus on us getting into a good shape so we can perform at a high level for the entirety and not just the first game.

“It does means a lot to start well in the right way with three points, for the fans as well who have waited a long time for a home game in the stadium so they are looking forward to it too. Hopefully we can go into the new season with a win and plenty of confidence.”


In Profile: Jannik Vestergaard
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