SAINTS have confirmed the signing of Charlie Taylor on a free transfer as their second move of the summer window.

The 30 year old had been offered new terms at Burnley but decided against staying at the Lancashire club, joining Southampton instead.

Taylor becomes the latest player to join on a free, following academy graduate Adam Lallana's Southampton return.

Here is everything you need to know about Southampton’s newest defender...

READ MORE: 'It’s a huge club' - Saints sign experienced defender Taylor on free transfer

Charlie Taylor, 30, has joined Southampton on a two-year dealCharlie Taylor, 30, has joined Southampton on a two-year deal (Image: Southampton FC)

Who is Charlie Taylor?

Taylor is an experienced left-back with 161 Premier League appearances under his belt from his seven years at Burnley. 

Born in York, he is a graduate of Leeds United's esteemed academy, having signed professional terms with the Whites in 2011.

Three months on from signing his first pro contract, Taylor made his senior debut for Leeds against Bradford City in the League Cup.

A month later, and a week before his 18th birthday, the full-back got his first Championship start in a win over Crystal Palace.

After loan moves to Bradford, York City, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Fleetwood Town, Taylor would eventually establish himself as a first-team regular.

He went on to make 104 appearances for Leeds before departing at the end of the 2016/17 season when his contract expired.

Charlie Taylor began his career at Leeds UnitedCharlie Taylor began his career at Leeds United (Image: PA)

Burnley would be his next destination, seeing him take the step into the Premier League for the first time in his career. A compensation fee of around £7million was paid to Leeds.

Taylor made just 11 Premier League appearances in his first season but soon became a regular fixture in the Burnley defence, featuring in every game during his second season.

Across the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, he suffered several short hamstring injuries, although he continued to play regularly when fit.

Having helped Burnley win the Championship in 2022/23, Taylor made 28 league appearances for the Clarets last season as they were relegated to the Championship.

Charlie Taylor played 28 Premier League games as Burnley were relegated last season (Image: PA)

What has Taylor said and what has been said about him?

On signing for Southampton, Taylor said: "The Premier League is probably the best league in the world, it's such a tough league with outstanding quality every week.

"I know how hard it is to be in that league and to stay up. I fully believe that we can (survive) this year with the squad and the management that we've got here.

"I spoke on the phone briefly, to begin with (Russell Martin) and straight away he really impressed me, just the way he talks about football is the way I like to see it as well.

"The people I spoke to who know him as well only had good things to say, and I think him being the manager was a massive pulling point as well.“

Manager Russell Martin added: "Charlie brings a wealth of Premier League experience to the side which will be vital for us.

“He’s a great character who will fit into what we’re building here. Technically he’s a gifted passer of the ball and has versatility.

“I’m delighted we’ve brought him in. It’s going to take everyone again next season, so it’s important we have competition for places across the board.”

Taylor Harwood-Bellis, who played with Taylor during his loan spell at Burnley, praised his fellow Southampton defender back in August 2022.

He said: "He's helped me massively with his experience playing in the Premier League for so long.

"He's been class and you wouldn't think he was a left-back playing centre-back. We compliment each other really well and hopefully, it can carry on."

Charlie Taylor (left) and Taylor Harood-Bellis (middle-left) celebrate Burnley winning the ChampionshipCharlie Taylor (left) and Taylor Harood-Bellis (middle-left) celebrate Burnley winning the Championship (Image: PA)

Former Burnley boss Vincent Kompany said of Taylor's return to the side last season: "At a certain age you know the only reward you get is if you put in the work in training every day, then your chance might come.

“His chance came and he took it with both hands and we are happy with that. You can feel you are sometimes far away from the squad, but in my eyes, it’s never the case.

"It’s a case of timing and momentum, so you always have to be ready and he’s shown that. Charlie was a standout performer (against Forest), yet last time he wasn’t even in the squad."

Why have Saints signed Charlie Taylor?

Taylor becomes the second left-back to join Southampton on a free transfer during Martin's tenure at the club.

Last summer saw Ryan Manning follow the 38 year old to the South Coast from Swansea City after their successful partnership in South Wales.

However, Manning struggled to reach the same heights as he did at the Swans - defensively and offensively - and has found himself in and out of the team.

With Romain Perraud sold to La Liga side Real Betis, Manning was left as the only senior out-and-out left-back - although James Bree, Jack Stephens and Kyle Walker-Peters have all operated in that role.

By signing Taylor, Saints have ensured further depth on the left of defence and created more competition for places. He also brings plenty of Premier League know-how - a key target for Saints this summer.

Having played under Kompany at Burnley in a style often compared to Martin's tactics, Taylor has experience playing in a possession-based system.

His brief stint playing as a centre-back at the Clarets would suggest he is a defensively solid option. However, when compared to other full-backs in the top five leagues in the past 365 days, Taylor ranks in the bottom 11 per cent for tackles per 90 minutes (1.35).

In his defence, that performance is based on playing in a Burnley team that underwhelmed after setting the Championship alight in the previous season. 

But, given he arrives on a free transfer, therefore not cutting into the budget assigned to paying transfer fees, he could prove to be a bargain addition.

Charlie Taylor spent seven years at BurnleyCharlie Taylor spent seven years at Burnley (Image: Southampton FC)