LATEST Saints recruit Armel Bella-Kotchap shared that his move to the Premier League was a “dream come true” – also revealing that he was ready to “fight” to become a first-team regular at St. Mary’s.

The German under-21 international became Saints’ third signing of the window for a fee rumoured to be around £9.5 million.

Bella-Kotchap joins from Bundesliga outfit VfL Bochum, a side where he made his senior debut, before helping the German side into the top-flight for the first time in 11 years.

In their first season back, the central defender played 22 times as Bochum avoided the drop, finishing in a respectable 14th place.

Reflecting on the move, the 20-year-old told Saints’ website: "It’s a dream come true. I’m very happy about it - I will give everything to play here.

“It’s something I dreamed as a young kid, and I have realised that now and I’m very thankful and delighted about it.

“I think every player, wants to play in the Premier League and the biggest league in the world.

“So for me, it’s a dream come true, and I will fight for playing.”

After making his debut as an 18-year-old in April 2019, Bella-Kotchap has already made 73 senior appearances for Bochum.


Reports from Germany suggest the defender is physically capable and a real handful for strikers, but sometimes can be caught sleeping during “mental flights of fancy”.

Bella-Kotchap is under no illusions that he still has a lot to learn as a footballer, again stating that he was ready to battle hard, relishing the opportunity of coming up against the Premier League’s biggest names.

“I’ve played a lot of games," mentioned Bella-Kotchap.

“My goal is to develop as a young player.

“Also in the Premier League you have the chance [to face] front big players. I hope that my development is not finished. I want to fight.

“I want to fight against the big players, battle them. Hopefully I will have my mission here.”

Paris-born Bella-Kotchap came to prominence in Germany thanks to his displays in the DFB Pokal, with the then second-tier defender keeping legendary Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski quiet during a cup tie in 2019.

The centre-back is keen for the challenge ahead, stating that he is ready to adapt to the challenge of the Premier League.

“Robert Lewandowski, he’s a very good striker,” he restarted.

“Everybody knows.

“But in the Premier League, you have more strikers. They have quality like him.

“You have to adapt quick. You have to adapt on the intensity of the Premier League.

“And I think that’s the most important to be focused out on the pitch.”

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