Duje Ćaleta-Car has been reflecting on “a crazy day” that saw his deadline-day signing for Southampton announced at 11pm BST on Thursday night.
The Croatian international, who arrived on a four-year deal from Marseille, admitted he has experienced potential transfers in the past that have not gone through, leaving him even more relieved to complete the paperwork in time.
Ćaleta-Car has always dreamed of playing in the Premier League, and believes Saints are the best possible club to experience his first taste of English football.
“It was really a crazy day,” he said. “I didn’t know what would happen today, but I was ready.
“It was not an easy day, but finally it is over and I am a Southampton player, so I am happy.
“There is always something you worry about. I’ve had opportunities before that for some reason didn’t happen, so you worry every time that something can change. It didn’t change, I am here and I’m ready to start.”
The defender, the last of ten arrivals at St Mary’s in the summer transfer window, is the second oldest, and hopes he can pass on some of his experience of playing at the highest level, both internationally and on the European club scene, to his younger teammates.
“I’m very excited because I saw the coach, I spoke with him, I think he is a good coach and of course the team – I watched them against Chelsea and also in the games before,” he continued.
“I know the way they play, they have a lot of young players, so I think I can come good in the group and be with them every day, to progress with them together.
“There are also ones older than me who can help me, but I also have some international experience.
“First I need to meet with them and [get to know them] a little bit. They will help me to integrate faster in the team and to make me [feel] welcome. I will give my best on the pitch to them.”