Southampton have completed the transfer of Manchester City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, the club has confirmed, with the Ireland international making a £12 million ($14.6m) move to St Mary's Stadium.
The shotstopper, who has spent the past two seasons on loan with Rochdale and Portsmouth, arrives from the Etihad Stadium on a contract that will take him through until the summer of 2027.
It marks the end of a four-year tenure on the books of Pep Guardiola's Citizens for the NXGN graduate, where he failed to make a senior appearance, and sees him arrive to help fill the shoes of Fraser Forster following the latter's departure to Tottenham.
What has Bazunu said about his transfer?
"I’m delighted to be here," the 20-year-old told the club's website upon confirmation of his capture. "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.
"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."
Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was equally pleased to secure the move, adding: As a club, we are always on the lookout for young talent and Gavin is a very exciting addition to the squad. 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. Coming here gives him more opportunities to develop his game through playing in the Premier League."
Who is Southampton new signing Gavin Bazunu?
A product of Shamrock Rovers' academy system, the goalkeeper had barely burst onto the scene in the League of Ireland before he was snapped up by City in 2018 as a 16-year-old.
He cut his teeth in the club's youth ranks before spending his fist full senior season out at nearby Rochdale in League One, across the 2021-22 campaign.
That saw him catch the eye of Portsmouth, who took him on loan last term - and Bazunu duly delivered, with a superb personal campaign that saw him named the club's Player of the Season.
Both spells helped him break into the senior squad for the Republic of Ireland too, and he has amassed 10 caps so far for his country - as well as making an already iconic save against Cristiano Ronaldo when his nation met the Manchester United star's Portugal in a Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier.