Southampton FC have completed the signing of Argentinian winger Federico Arias from CA Vélez Sarsfield for an undisclosed fee.
With his side currently sixth in the Premiership, manager Gordon Strachan hopes the arrival of the 23-year-old on a three-year contract will increase Southampton's chances of securing a place in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup. "He looks a useful player and is very quick and hopefully he will make us stronger," said Strachan.
Club scout Terry Cooper also enthused about Arias, saying: "He has two excellent feet. I watched him three times and could not tell which was his best. He is a great crosser of the ball, too. His nickname is the Torpedo and it is easy to see why - he is explosive over 20 metres. The Argentinians I have seen usually have good technique on the ball but not many have this kind of pace."
The south coast club also confirmed that Arias, who is able to speak some English, possesses an Italian passport and thus does not need to apply for a work permit. The midfield player could make his debut at Middlesbrough FC on Saturday, especially as Chris Marsden is currently injured.
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