Southampton sign Juanmi on four-year deal from Malaga
Last Updated: 17/06/15 6:50am
Southampton have completed the signing of Malaga striker Juanmi on a four-year deal.
The 22-year-old, who has cost the Saints a fee in the region of £5m, is Ronald Koeman's first signing of the summer.
Juanmi - full name Juan Miguel Jimenez Lopez - has been with Malaga since 2008 when he joined their youth set-up, and made his senior debut in January 2010 in the Copa del Rey.
Although they lost his debut 5-1 to Getafe, Juanmi scored Malaga's only goal and became the club's youngest-ever scorer.
His first-team chances were limited until the start of the 2013-14 season, and he had a spell on loan with Racing Santander, but he has been more of a regular presence over the last two years.
Juanmi's form was good enough to earn a first Spain call-up in March, when he replaced an injured Diego Costa in their senior squad. He made his debut in a friendly against the Netherlands.
He told Southampton's website: “It’s a pleasure to be here and I am looking forward to being a part of this club.
“The training ground is magnificent and likewise the stadium. It really, really is a big club.
"Since I was very young, it’s always been a dream for me to play in the Premier League. The style of football played here is similar to the way I play, so it’s a dream come true. Now I just want to start playing and to start scoring goals.”
Southampton's executive director of football Les Reed said: "Juanmi is a young, exciting and attacking player who fits into the club’s strategic plan perfectly.
“He has been tracked closely by our recruitment department for some time, and we were keen to act quickly when presented with the opportunity to bring this young player with international quality to Southampton.
“To have attracted a player of his potential at this early stage of the summer is testament to our determination to build upon the achievements of the 2014/15 season and to continue to implement our long-term plan for the future.
"We will fully embrace the challenge of the Europa League in the coming campaign, and want to develop further in Europe over the seasons to follow. Juanmi’s arrival is an important step in this process.”