SAINTS have completed the transfer deadline day signing of long-term target Ross Stewart. 

The 27 year old joins Southampton for a reported total £10million fee from fellow Championship side Sunderland.

He arrives at St Mary's while still recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, which has seen him miss the start of the 2023-24 season.

Here is everything you need to know about Southampton's new forward...

Who is Ross Stewart?

Ross Stewart is a striker who has developed a reputation for regularly scoring goals in Scotland and England - earning him the nickname the 'Loch Ness Drogba.'

The former Kilwinning Rangers forward was born in Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland on  July 11, 1996.

He arrives at Southampton having recorded one of the best goal-per-minute ratios in the Championship last season - scoring a goal every 104 minutes.

However, he only managed to play 13 league games, scoring 10 times, as injuries hampered his first season in England's second division.

Career so far

Having played for professional academies during his youth, Stewart got his start in football playing for Ardeer Thistle and Kilwinning Rangers.

His performances in the Scottish Juniors impressed those at Albion Rovers to pay £1,500 to bring him to the club.

Rather remarkably, the part-time club were unable to afford the transfer fee and had to receive financial support from their supporters and even Stewart's father.

It turned out to be a deal worth striking however as the 19 year old scored 12 goals in 25 games, earning him a move to promotion-chasing Championship side St Mirren.

Stewart found things more difficult on the goalscoring front at The Buddies, failing to score as they gained promotion to the Scottish Premiership. He did however enjoy a successful loan spell back in League One with Alloa Athletic - scoring seven goals.

A move to Ross County followed, where Stewart spent three seasons, scoring 28 goals in all competitions and helping them reach the SPFL.

It was during his time at The Staggies that Stewart first appeared on Martin's radar. The former Scottish international admitted earlier this week that he attempted to sign Stewart during his tenure as MK Dons manager.

His pursuit ultimately failed as Stewart instead chose to join fellow League One side Sunderland.

In 80 appearances for the Black Cats, Stewart has scored 40 times. His 24 goals during the 2021-22 season fired Sunderland to the Championship.

A hamstring injury followed by Achilleas tendon surgery, which is still keeping Stewart out of action, restricted the Scottish forward to just 13 games last season.

Daily Echo: Stewart has joined Saints from Sunderland

International exploits

Having never represented Scotland at youth level, Stewart received his first-ever international call-up at the age of 25 in March 2022.

He was selected by Steve Clarke ahead of Scotland's international friendly against Poland at Hampden Park.

Stewart had to wait a little longer to make his Scotland debut.

His first appearance for his country came in June 2022 when he made a three-minute substitute cameo against Armenia in the Nations League.

He earned a further cap against Republic of Ireland, playing 31 minutes as they lost 3-0.

What has Stewart said?

Speaking to the Sunderland Echo back in November of 2022, Stewart reflected on his journey to English football and his start to life at Sunderland.

“It's one of them when you look back at the last 18 months, when you move down here it's everything I made that move for in terms of what it's given me as a player,” he explained.

“The first six months was a bit stop-start but from that first game of the next season, I feel like I took to it really well and was enjoying my football and everything that came with it.

“I don't get much time to reflect and to be honest I'm not big on that, I like just to focus on what's next but you do get these wee points where you reflect on the rollercoaster you've been on, and how far you've maybe jumped in such a short space of time.

"It's been such a positive time in terms of what it's done for my career.

"I'm at a good age now and a good level, and for me it's about trying to maintain that now if not kick on again.

"I've gone up through the leagues in Scotland, I've come down here and moved up from League One to the Championship.

"Hopefully I can establish myself as a good player at this level and then maybe the next step somewhere in the future is to go up to the Prem.

"Wherever that may be, I would love to test myself. It's an exciting time for me, especially with so many games on the horizon.”

Daily Echo:

Our verdict

Martin's previous interest in Stewart from his time coaching MK Dons is a massive sign that the Saints boss believes this is a suitable signing.

Stewart has a fantastic track record of scoring goals in English football from his time at Sunderland.

However, you can't look past his recent injury issues. He only managed 13 appearances in the Championship last season, but he did score 10 goals.

Should the Scottish international remain fit this season, he will be an important addition.