HE SLAYED the mighty Barcelona in the Nou Camp and made his international debut aged just 21 - and now Spain forward Juanmi is a Saint, after completing a £5m move from Malaga.

The 22-year-old, whose full name is Juan Miguel Jiménez López, became the club's first capture of the summer, signing a four-year deal at St Mary's last night.

Saints prevailed against significant competition from a number of Premier League rivals for Juanmi's signature, and executive director of football Les Reed, who conducted the deal, believes the youngster will be a huge asset as the team bids to establish itself as a force in Europe.

"Juanmi is a young, exciting and attacking player who fits into the club's strategic plan perfectly," he said.

"He has been tracked closely by our recruitment department for some time, and we were keen to act quickly when presented with the opportunity to bring this young player with international quality to Southampton.

"To have attracted a player of his potential at this early stage of the summer is testament to our determination to build upon the achievements of the 2014/15 season and to continue to implement our long-term plan for the future.

"We will fully embrace the challenge of the Europa League in the coming campaign, and want to develop further in Europe over the seasons to follow. Juanmi's arrival is an important step in this process."

The player himself said: "It's a pleasure to be here and I am looking forward to being a part of this club.

"I am anxious and I want to start as soon as possible. This is a big club and it has shown a lot of trust in me. The training ground is magnificent and likewise the stadium. It really, really is a big club.

"Since I was very young, it's always been a dream for me to play in the Premier League. The style of football played here is similar to the way I play, so it’s a dream come true.

"Now I just want to start playing and to start scoring goals."

Juanmi arrives with a burgeoning reputation from Spain.

He made his debut and became Malaga's youngest goalscorer at the age of 16, while he has twice lifted the Under-19 European Championship with Spain.

After a loan spell at Racing Santander in 2013, his development began to accelerate at Malaga.

It was last season when he really shot to fame, scoring eight times in La Liga - including a memorable goal in a 1-0 win away to Barcelona.

His form prompted Spain coach Vicente del Bosque to call him up to the senior international team this year, with Juanmi earning his first cap when he started a 2-0 friendly defeat against the Netherlands in March.

In total, he made 95 first-team appearances for Malaga, scoring 21 times.