SAINTS centre-back Maya Yoshida has spoken of his dream of one day playing for Manchester United.

The 24-year-old defender, under contract at St Mary’s until 2015, has impressed in his debut season for Saints in the Premier League.

Now Yoshida has revealed he would one day like to follow his Japanese international colleague Shinji Kagawa to Old Trafford.

When asked if he would one day like to join United, Yoshida – speaking at Thursday’s premiere of Iron Man 3 in London – said: “Of course, everyone wants to play there.

“He (Kagawa) is my friend and a player with me in the national team, and playing in Manchester is always nice. Of course everyone wants to go to Manchester, why not?”

Yoshida is for now focusing on finishing a successful season with Saints in the top tenof the Premier League.

The defender was also full of praise for previous Saints boss Nigel Adkins, but stated that the team are now working extremely hard under successor Mauricio Pochettino.

“Yeah, of course Nigel was really a great guy and he gave me a lot of things, but now Mauricio is a really nice guy and gives us a hard job,” said Yoshida.

“I think that’s why we play well.”

When asked if he thought a harder work-rate and organisation behind the scenes was a reason behind Sants’ improvement in form under Pochettino, Yoshida replied: “I was thinking now it’s really important for us to improve.”

Yoshida, signed from Dutch club VVV Venlo last summer, made his Saints debut as a sub in September’s 6-1 thrashing at Arsenal.

Including that day, he has appeared in the last 30 Premier League games, establishing himself as one of the first names on the team sheet under both Adkins and Pochettino.