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Tadic set for first Saints run out
Dusan Tadic could make his first appearance in a Saints shirt tonight, as new manager Ronald Koeman leads the club into their opening pre-season match.
The £11m playmaker, who signed from FC Twente this summer, is part of the 27-man squad that has been taken on this week’s trip to Belgium and the Netherlands.
Saints will play two games during their tour, beginning with this evening’s encounter against Dutch amateur side EHC Hoensbroek (kick-off 6pm UK time).
Plenty of eyes will be trained on Serbian ace Tadic, who has been brought to St Mary’s as a direct replacement for Adam Lallana, following his move to Liverpool.
The 25-year-old has arrived with an exciting reputation, having been one of the shining lights of the Dutch top-flight over the past few seasons.
He won’t be the only Saints player who fans making the trip to the SportPark de Dem will be interested to watch, though.
Liverpool target Dejan Lovren has joined the pre-season trip, despite having said he feels as though his head is already at Anfield and having considered staying away in a bid to force through a transfer.
The centre-half still wants his move to the Reds, but opted to make the journey this week after talks with Koeman, who had made it clear in no uncertain terms that he had to return.
Lovren may not feature tonight, having only just begun his pre-season work because of his involvement in the World Cup.
However, Saints fans will be keen to see the reaction and performance of the Croatian international if he does get some time on the pitch.
The club’s latest signing, £8m striker Graziano Pelle, is another one supporters will be looking forward to seeing.
The Italian completed his move from Feyenoord on Saturday evening, but was not joining up with the squad for the start of the trip.
He was due to have arrived in time for this evening’s match, although fans may be more likely to get a glimpse of him when Saints play their second game, against Belgian third division outfit KSK Hasselt, on Thursday (kick-off 6pm UK time).
The team are basing themselves in Belgium this week, training just outside of Genk.
Some of the first-team squad remain absent, with Victor Wanyama on international duty for Kenya, while Morgan Schneiderlin has additional time off, because of his involvement with France in the World Cup.
Saints squad: Artur Boruc, Kelvin Davis, Paulo Gazzaniga, Calum Chambers, Nathaniel Clyne, Jose Fonte, Jos Hooiveld, Dejan Lovren, Jason McCarthy, Jack Stephens, Matt Targett, Jordan Turnbull, Maya Yoshida, Jack Cork, Steven Davis, Jake Flannigan, Lloyd Isgrove, Sam McQueen, Harrison Reed, Jake Sinclair, Dusan Tadic, James Ward-Prowse, Sam Gallagher, Emmanuel Mayuka, Graziano Pelle, Jay Rodriguez, Billy Sharp.