On the 22nd June Saints announced that they had signed the 32 year old Dutch goalkeeper, Maarten Stekelenburg, on a year long loan from Fulham.
He started his career with Ajax, where he made his debut under Ronald Koeman, before spending two years in Italy in AS Roma. After a spell with then Premier League Fulham, the former Dutch international spent the 2014/15 campaign with AS Monaco.
While he has not had the best of times over the last couple of seasons, his pedigree should not be forgotten. He was excellent in goal for Holland during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Stekelenburg featured in all of the matches as they reached the World Cup Final, where they lost 1-0 to Spain after extra time. With support from Koeman and the Saints coaching team he now has the chance to recover his form, in the way that Artur Boruc and Kelvin Davis did before him.
Executive Director of Football of Les Reed commented: “Maarten is a goalkeeper with a wealth of top-level experience who will prove to be an important addition to the squad at this early stage of pre-season.
“While Fraser Forster’s rehabilitation is progressing well, adding Maarten to our squad alongside Kelvin Davis and Paulo Gazzaniga will give us strength in depth for what will be a busy season.
“Maarten enjoyed tremendous success in Holland with Ajax and on the international stage, playing in the 2010 World Cup final. His experience will be invaluable to us, especially with the arrival of European football.
Stekelenburg added: ”The last two years weren’t the best of my career. As they say in England: the best is yet to come.”