Graziano Pelle is fulfilling a childhood dream by playing in the Premier League.

After breaking his Saints duck in the Capital One Cup win at Millwall, the Italian striker is hoping to score his first goal in English football’s top flight on Saturday, when Saints return to London to take on West Ham. “Since I was young, one of my dreams was to play in the Premier League and finally I got it,” said the 29 year-old, an £8m summer signing from Feyenoord.

“I remember watching Alan Shearer and Dennis Bergkamp playing really well and I always loved to watch Manchester United.

This league is so exciting, every time it is so exciting to watch.”

Pelle is relishing his role as Saints’ targetman.

“It’s not just enough to play in the Premier League,” he continued. “I want to improve. I think it’s the most difficult competition, especially for a striker because the defenders are really tough.

“They have great midfields in front that fight. Every ball I have to use everything and be strong up front for my teammates.

“But I like difficult games and the challenge because of the quality of all the teams.

“I know that in the first two games I did not do what I should do in several cases but I’m improving. The defender pushed me a bit [at Millwall] but did I fall? Never! I’m a big man, I have to always be aware of that, the referee will not reason me and I have to be more aggressive. I’m negative with myself every time because I want to improve. I will always try my best to be better.”

Pelle was relieved to get off the mark in injury time at Millwall, when he completed an impressive second half by firing in the second goal in a 2-0 win.

He continued: “Dusan Tadic told me ‘I’ve never seen you so happy when you score!’ He was joking but it was partly true because he knows how much I care and how important it was for me to score and to win the game.

“Winning is most important, but when you have both it’s great. It’s like when a girl is pregnant, you have to wait nine months and for me it was almost the same feeling!

“I had to be more sharp to score the goal but better later than never. We didn’t do so well in the first half. I enjoyed the second half but we still have to be more focused and not give 45 minutes to the opposition.”