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Lee finalizes move to Southampton

Kyodo

Japan striker Tadanari Lee has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Southampton with the option of a further year, the second-tier English Championship club said Wednesday.

“The 26-year-old put pen to paper after rejecting several advances from top flight European sides, and will be immediately available for selection,” Southampton said.

“He could therefore make his debut in Saturday’s F.A. Cup fourth round tie at Millwall.”

Japanese players have had limited success in England, but Lee — who is of South Korean descent, but became a naturalized Japanese citizen in 2007 so that he could play at the Beijing Olympics — is determined to impress from the outset.

“I want to help the team to great things,” Lee said in a statement through the Saints. “We all want to get to the Premier League, and I am the same. I hope that I can show the fans that they can trust me to play my best for the club at all times.”