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Thursday 19 July 2012

Southampton sign defender Clyne

Saints secure services of promising England Under-21 player from Crystal Palace

Nathaniel Clyne has won a lot of praise for his performances at Crystal Palace

Southampton have signed England Under-21 defender Nathaniel Clyne from Crystal Palace.

The 21-year-old signed a four-year deal at St Mary's before travelling to join the squad at their training camp in Evian-les-Bains.

"I'm overwhelmed, really," Clyne told the club's official website.

"The gaffer told me that they would want to be pushing for European football"
- Nathaniel Clyne

"As soon as I heard that Southampton were in for me, I was happy and I knew that this was the place where I could try to improve my football, further my career and get a chance to play in the Barclays Premier League.

"It's a club with a lot of ambition - the gaffer told me that they would want to be pushing for European football.

"We've got good players here - a young bunch of good, talented players who are destined for the top, so I don't see why we can't do it."

Although Clyne was out of contract at Selhurst Park, Southampton will pay a fee because of his age.

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins said: "We're delighted that we can finally announce that we've brought Nathaniel Clyne into the group to help us kick onto the next level.

"All being well, we can push him onto the next level now"
- Nigel Adkins

"There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes all summer and, with [Head of Recruitment] Paul Mitchell and [chairman] Nicola Cortese, we work very hard behind the scenes to make things happen.

"For the last three years Nathaniel has been a very attack-minded full-back who bombs on - he's got pace and he's a good one-on-one defender.

"He got into the Championship Team of the Year last year, and for such a young age he has had a lot of first-team football in the Championship.

"All being well, we can push him onto the next level now."

Clyne made his Crystal Palace debut as a 17-year-old in October 2008 and made 29 appearances during his first season.

He won the Football League's Young Player of the Year award at the end of the 2009/10 season.

Clyne was an ever-present in the league for Palace in 2010/11 - the youngest player to do so for a Football League club that season - and won his first call up to Stuart Pearce's Under-21 England squad in November 2011.

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Key Points

  • Southampton sign promising young defender Nathaniel Clyne
  • England Under-21 player moves from Crystal Palace
  • Clyne has signed a four-year deal at St Mary's