Southampton announced the signing of Cuco Martina on Tuesday amid speculation fellow defender Toby Alderweireld could be joining Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Martina’s arrival at St Mary’s on a two-year deal from Dutch side FC Twenty comes after full-back Ryan Bertrand underwent knee surgery.
Now Martina, Dutch manager Ronald Koeman’s latest recruit from the Eredivisie, will have a chance to establish himself during Southampton’s pre-season tour of Austria.
“I’m very happy to be here at a big club like Southampton,” the 25-year-old said in a club statement.
“I’ve followed Southampton now for two years and I see they are now a big club.
“I know Ronald Koeman and Erwin Koeman (Ronald’s brother and his assistant at Southampton) — I worked with Erwin for one year and everything was good. He knows my qualities and I know what he wants.
“It was a dream for me to play in the Premier League and finally I can play now. I hope to play many games and show the fans who I am.”
Martin is the fourth pre-season arrival at St Mary’s, following Juanmi and Cedric Soares and the loan signing of Fulham goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenberg.
Whether he will play in the same Southampton side as Alderweireld remains uncertain.
The Belgium defender impressed on loan at Saints last season and the south coast club believe they have the first option to sign him on a permanent deal from Atletico Madrid.
But there have been reports in the British media that he has undergone a medical at Spurs, prompting suggestions Southampton could take legal action against the London side should he move to White Hart Lane.