Transfer deadline day was surprisingly busy for Southampton, as they broke their record signing for the second time this summer, signing Bologna winger Gaston Ramirez for an estimated £12 million.
Southampton also made three other moves: they signed young American goalkeeper Cody Cropper to a two-year deal, let striker Billy Sharp join Nottingham Forest and midfielder Dean Hammond join Brighton and Hove Albion on season-long loans.
According to a Southampton press release, the Ramirez deal had been completed for over a week, but the finer details of the transfer held things up. Ramirez has agreed to a four-year contract with the Saints.
"A lot of hard work has gone in from the Football Club with a lot of negotiations behind the scenes to get this deal done," Southampton manager Nigel Adkins said in a club press release.
Adkins continued, "The Chairman has gone and backed this deal big-time with the financial outlay, and what we have got is one of the most exciting prospects in world football coming to St Mary’s."
Ramirez scored 15 goals in 59 career appearances with Bologna over his two years with the club. Prior to joining Bologna, Ramirez played one season with Penarol in his home country of Uruguay.
Ramirez has also made nine appearances with the Uruguay national team and played for Uruguay in the 2012 Olympics. He has also been selected for the Uruguay squads that will play Colombia and Ecuador in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Ramirez should immediately move into the starting lineup when he joins the squad. Whose spot will depend on the formation Adkins chooses to employ. Jay Rodriguez, Jason Puncheon and Guly Do Prado are the likely players that may be forced to the bench.
With only two goalkeepers on the books, Southampton added young American goalkeeper Cody Cropper on a free transfer. Cropper had been on trial with Southampton after leaving Ipswich Town. Cropper has been the primary keeper for the Saints' U21 side and will challenge Paulo Gazzaniga for the primary backup role behind Kelvin Davis.
With the influx of recent signings, a couple of players were due to be deemed surplus to requirements. With the recent signing of Emmanuel Mayuka, Southampton had six strikers on the senior squad.
Billy Sharp, who scored nine goals in 15 appearances after joining Southampton midseason from Doncaster Rovers, was deemed the odd man out. At Nottingham Forest, Sharp will join his former Doncaster manager Sean O'Driscoll.
Hammond will also return to familiarity with his loan spell at Brighton. From 2000-2006, Hammond played in 136 matches with the Seagulls. Hammond had made 124 appearances for Southampton, but the signing of Steven Davis and the emergence of James Ward-Prowse has lessened the likelihood of first-team football for Hammond.
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