Southampton sign Maarten Stekelenburg on loan

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Southampton have announced on their official website the signing of Dutch international goal keeper Maarten Stekelenburg, on a season long loan for Championship side Fulham.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has made the move for veteran Stekelenburg following regular goal keeper Fraser Forster absence from action for a further nine months due to knee surgery.

Stekelenburg joined Fulham from AS Roma in June 2013 in a £4.75 million move, however he is no longer first choice at Fulham due to the emergence of England U21 international Marcus Bettinelli, and subsequently spent last season on loan at AS Monaco.

However his loan to Monaco was not made permanent, making just four appearances as deputy to Croatian Danijel Subasic, and he returned to Fulham at the end of the season.

Forster's injury in March meant that long-serving Kelvin Davis stepped in as first choice for the Saints for the rest of the season, however Southampton's involvement in this season's Europa League means extra games for the squad.

Competition for Davis and Gazzaniga

Given the added pressure of European football, Stekelenburg has been brought in to provide competition for Davis (who turns 39 this season) and Argentinian Paulo Gazzaniga, with Southampton tipped to do well in Europe this season.

Stekelenburg came to English attention following his performances in goal for the Netherlands during their run to the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and was linked with many big names however a move never materialised.

Whether or not Stekelenburg will start as first choice for Southampton remains unclear, however Saints director of football Les Reed is pleased that Stekelenburg will offer "strengh in depth, for what will be a busy season."

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