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Sunday, 08 July 2012

Southampton: Five handy facts on Steve Davis


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Nigel Adkins has been busy preparing the Saints for their Premier League return this summer. Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez was his first signing but it looks as though Dutch defender Alexander Buttner will be joining him at the Saints alongside former Rangers captain Steven Davis.

And it's the Northern Ireland midfielder Davis who we are going to turn the spotlight on today. The 27-year-old has enjoyed great success at Ibrox over the past four years but he will now return to the Premier League where he first started out at Aston Villa.

Here are five handy facts on Steven Davis:

1. Davis was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, on January 1, 1985, and started his career with Aston Villa. Coming through the youth ranks at the club, where he won the Youth Cup in 2002, Davis made his debut in 2004 against Norwich City. The following season Davis was named Young Player of the Year, Fans Player of the Year and Player of the Year. However, after making 109 appearances for the Villains, and scoring nine times in the process, Davis was sold to Fulham for £4 million in 2007.

2. The central midfielder didn't enjoy the best of times at the Cottage. He made just 25 appearances for the Cottagers before securing a loan deal at his boyhood club Glasgow Rangers. Davis gave the Gers fresh legs in a memorable campaign, winning the League Cup, Scottish Cup and reaching the UEFA Cup Final in Manchester. Rangers made the move to Ibrox permanent in the summer of 2008 for £3 million.

3. Davis won eight major honours at Rangers. He won the SPL title and League Cup three times a piece and the Scottish Cup twice. The 5ft 8in playmaker also claimed the Players' Player of the Year award in 2010 and picked up two Player of the Month accolades. He scored 21 times for Rangers in 211 appearances. Davis is a man for the big occasions. He scored his first for Rangers against Werder Bremen in Europe and found the back of the net in the League Cup Final against Celtic with this effort.

 

4. Alongside his experiences of playing in Europe with Rangers, Davis is also a Northern Ireland international. He made his debut in a 1-0 loss to Canada in 2005 but became the national's sides youngest captain ever in May 2006 when he led the team out against Uruguay. Davis scored his first goal for his country in a 3-2 defeat against Wales in 2005 and played a significant part in beating England and Spain. Davis has rubbed shoulders with the best and has more than held his own against them.

5. Despite playing in the heart of midfield, Davis has never received a red card and has only been booked 15 times during his professional career. That's something to bear in mind when you're choosing your fantasy football team this season.

Calling all Southampton fans: How do you feel about the signing of Steve Davis? What do you think he will bring to the squad? Can the Saints do a Norwich or a Swansea and make a comfortable return to life in the top flight? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.

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Colin Illingworth

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