Southampton sign Serbian playmaker Filip Djuricic on loan from Benfica
After picking up some players late on Deadline Day back in the summer, Southampton are at it again.
On Tuesday Saints announced that they had signed Serbian playmaker Filip Djuricic on loan from Portuguese side Benfica until the end of the season.
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Djuricic, 23, is a Serbian international who can play centrally or wide and will add an extra spark to Southampton’s attack as they aim to kick on between now and the end of the season in their pursuit of a surprise finish in the top four of the Premier League.
The former Heerenveen winger -- Koeman, like many of his signings, first spotted Djuricic’s talents in his homeland of Holland -- has seen his career stall over the past 12 months after excelling in the Dutch Eredivisie from 2010-13.
Djuricic scored 26 goals in 111 appearances while playing in Holland before Portuguese giants Benfica came calling. However after signing for the Lisbon outfit before the 2013-14 season, Djuricic scored just twice in 22 appearances last season and has spent the current campaign on loan at Bundesliga side Mainz where he continued to struggle.
That said, Koeman has seen enough to suggest Djuricic can help create goals for Saints and believes he can get the best out of the former Olympiakos youth product.
“It’s part of the philosophy of the club; young players. He was in a difficult situation, he was on loan at Mainz and we will take him on loan for the rest of the season. It’s a good possibility for him, and for us it’s one more player who can play in different positions... The last few weeks we have had problems to score goals, like Sunday [against Swansea]. We created good opportunities and you have to score, always it’s easy to have really good competition.”
Koeman took a chance on Dutch winger Eljero Elia in January and he scored twice away at Newcastle in a 2-1 win as Southampton’s stellar season continues. They will be hoping Djuricic has a similar impact. With their season hitting a slight speed bump with the 1-0 defeat to Swansea on Sunday, perhaps Djuricic can breath new life into an attack which has scored just six goals in their last six games.
It’s worth a punt for both parties, as Djuricic has nothing to lose and everything to gain between now and the end of May at St Mary’s.