Konnichiwa Maya Yoshida: Southampton Signs Japanese International Defender

Mike Miller@mwmiller20Contributor IIIAugust 30, 2012

Maya Yoshida has signed a three-year deal to join Southampton.
Maya Yoshida has signed a three-year deal to join Southampton.Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Southampton have made their second transfer deal in the past week, and sixth total of the season, agreeing to terms with Japanese defender Maya Yoshida Thursday. Yoshida had been playing with VVV-Venlo of the Dutch Eredivisie.

The deal was formally announced on the Southampton Twitter account around 4:30 p.m. GMT. Yoshida has signed a three-year deal, and terms were not disclosed. The Southern Daily Echo believes the fee to be around two million pounds.

The 24-year-old Yoshida will join fellow Japanese international Tadanari Lee on the Saints roster and will provide a challenge to current first-choice center backs Jose Fonte and Jos Hooiveld.

"To come to the Premier League was one of my biggest dreams since I was a child," Yoshida said after agreeing to join the club in a statement on the club website. "I am very grateful to be able to become a Saint and I will do my best for the team and for the supporters."

Yoshida had made 63 appearances for VVV-Venlo over three seasons with the club. Prior to VVV-Venlo, Yoshida began his career at J-League outfit Nagoya Grampus. From 2007-2009, Yoshida made 101 appearances with Nagoya Grampus, scoring 11 goals. In addition, Yoshida has made 17 appearances for the Japanese national team.

Yoshida also served as captain for the Japan team in the 2012 London Olympic Games, playing every match with a squad that reached the semifinals.

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"(Yoshida) is a centre-half who is comfortable on both the right- and left-hand side as he is good with both feet and has a good physical presence about himself," Southampton manager Nigel Adkins said in a statement from the club website.

Yoshida is expected to join the club after the international break, as he has been named in the Japan squad for their friendly against United Arab Emirates on September 6 and the World Cup qualifier against Iraq on September 11.