Yoshida will "grow" with Saints

Japan defender happy with new life in Southampton

Maya Yoshida: Joined Southampton after impressing in Japan's Olympic football campaign

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New Southampton defender Maya Yoshida wants to "grow up" in the Premier League following his recent move from Dutch side VVV Venlo.

The Japan centre-back, 24, was given a baptism of fire as he made his Saints debut in the 6-1 thrashing at Arsenal last weekend.

He was thrust into action at the Emirates following Jos Hooiveld's early injury and admits the Premier League is a tougher proposition than the Dutch top flight.

But Yoshida, who produced a series of commanding displays as Japan finished fourth in the London 2012 Olympic Games, believes moving to England was the logical step in his career.


"Southampton is a very nice place. And nearby there's a port, so there will be a nice view, I think." "

Maya Yoshida

Quotes of the week

"I think the Premier League is a much, much higher level than the Eredivisie, so I have to get used to the speed and physicality," he said.

"That's why I chose the Premier League and I think I will grow up more - for myself and for the World Cup in Brazil."

Yoshida, whose nation are already well on their way to qualifying for Brazil 2014, sought the advice of new Saints team-mate, and fellow Japan international, Tadanari Lee ahead of his move last month.

And he is happy with the start to his new life at the recently-promoted South Coast club.

"The Premier League is one of my great targets and, of course, Tadanari Lee is playing as well and I think that will help me," Yoshida told the Southern Daily Echo.

"Of course, I asked him many things; about housing, the team-mates, the coach and the culture.

"Southampton is a very nice place. In the south, not far from London and I think I can buy Japanese food. And nearby there's a port, so there will be a nice view, I think."