Southampton today confirmed the signing of Gavin Bazunu from fellow Premier League side Manchester City.
The 20-year-old goalkeeper has signed a five-year deal with Southampton and is Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first signing of the summer transfer window.
Bazunu, who already has 10 senior caps for the Republic of Ireland, was signed by City from Shamrock Rovers as a 16-year-old.
The last two seasons have seen Bazunu ply his trade in League One, making 32 first-team appearances for Rochdale in 2020/21, before playing a full season for third-tier Portsmouth where he was voted Player of the Year by his colleagues and fans.
“As a club, we are always on the lookout for young talent and Gavin is a very exciting addition to the squad,” Saints manager Hasenhuttl said in an official press release. “We believe he has tremendous potential to improve and will give us great competition for places in the goalkeeping department.
“He is a goalkeeper with a very modern style of play, comfortable in the build-up phase, who has developed physically through some very important loan moves early in his career.
“He is already an international goalkeeper, which is very rare for his age. Coming from Manchester City, we know he has learned from some of the very best coaches and teammates, and coming here gives him more opportunities to develop his game through playing in the Premier League.”
Despite being young, Bazunu has established himself as Ireland’s starting goalkeeper and he is expected to get plenty of minutes in the Southampton first team next season.
It has been reported that Bazunu wanted to join Southampton over Newcastle United due to assurances over first team football. Judging by Bazunu’s words, he is excited to get started as Saints’ first-choice goalkeeper.
“I’m delighted to be here. It’s been in the works for a few weeks and I’m really happy that we’ve got everything over the line, and I’m just excited to see what’s ahead,” Bazunu said in the same press release.
“I feel like it’s a place I can come and develop and learn my game. The biggest thing is opportunity – the fact that I can come here and have a chance to play regular football. Just to be given that opportunity to fight for my place is the biggest thing that I could’ve asked for.”