Southampton’s Martin Caceres could make debut in Cup final

5


Southampton defender Martin Caceres could be set for a dream debut in the EFL Cup final against Manchester United.

The 29-year-old defender was signed as a free agent two weeks ago, having been without a club since leaving Italian champions Juventus at the end of last season.

Saints manager Claude Puel moved for Caceres after losing Virgil van Dijk to a long-term ankle injury and captain Jose Fonte, who moved to West Ham last month.

Martin Caceres was brought in last month after his release from Juventus last summer

The defender has made 68 appearances for Uruguay, winning the Copa America back in 2011

The defender has made 68 appearances for Uruguay, winning the Copa America back in 2011

Caceres was brought in to replace Jose Fonte, who moved to West Ham last month.

Caceres was brought in to replace Jose Fonte, who moved to West Ham last month.

There were concerns over the Uruguay international’s fitness, given that he has not played since last February after undergoing surgery on a torn Achilles tendon.

But Puel monitored Caceres on Southampton’s recent training camp in Spain and is now considering including him in the squad at Wembley on Sunday.

‘I was surprised by his good physical fitness, because he can come on the training camp with a good level, good quality,’ said Puel.

‘He worked hard on his fitness during his injury, and I don’t know if he can participate at the beginning of this game but he can give good opportunities and solutions.’

Puel could also be boosted by the return of winger Sofiane Boufal.

Southampton’s club record signing suffered an ankle injury during the 3-1 home defeat by West Ham three weeks ago, but resumed training on Thursday.

Shane Long's goal last month against Liverpool sent the Saints through to Wembley

Shane Long’s goal last month against Liverpool sent the Saints through to Wembley

Claude Puel's side will be without defender Virgin van Dijk after he suffered an ankle injury

Claude Puel’s side will be without defender Virgin van Dijk after he suffered an ankle injury

But Sofiane Boufal could hand the Saints a boost as he came back to training this week

But Sofiane Boufal could hand the Saints a boost as he came back to training this week

‘We will see on Saturday with Boufal,’ added the Frenchman. ‘He came back with the team yesterday and we will see if he will be fit for this game.’

CACERES’ CAREER

2006–2007 Defensor 

2007–2008 Villarreal 

2007–2008 Recreativo (loan) 

2008–2011 Barcelona 

2009–2010 Juventus (loan)

2010–2011 Sevilla (loan) 

2011–2012 Sevilla 

2012 Juventus (loan)

2012–2016 Juventus

2017– Southampton 

Puel will be bidding to secure Southampton’s first major trophy since they lifted the FA Cup, under Lawrie McMenemy against the same opposition, 41 years ago.

‘Of course it’s important for us and it’s important for Manchester also,’ he said.

‘It’s been a very good journey and interesting to see the philosophy of the club.

‘It’s a good moment for the fans and I hope we can give them pleasure and joy at this match.

I know the last time Southampton can win a cup was in 1976 against Manchester. It’s a long time and it would be fantastic to take a good result.

‘I think it’s important and I can understand of course all the good atmosphere around the team and the fans. But it’s important for us to keep focused and with a good concentration about the game and not what happens after the game.

‘We have to keep the good attitude and good spirit.’ 



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here