SAINTS academy forward Luke Pearce has landed a move to Championship outfit Cardiff City following his departure from St Mary's.

Pearce, 20, netted an impressive seven goals in just 11 Premier League 2 appearances for Saints last season.

It followed a series of four loan spells in the National League South, where his best record was six goals in 17 matches for Eastbourne Borough.

Pearce joined Saints from Walsall in 2020 and has maintained a prolific goalscoring record for the under-18s and under-21s teams since.

He now joins the Bluebirds and is set to link up with their category two academy side, who compete in the Professional Development League.

"I'm really pleased," Pearce said. "It's a massive club and it's a great opportunity for me to kick on and progress my career.

"I'm really excited to join the club. it's a place that is definitely on the up, so for me personally, I feel like it's a good place for me to push on now.

"I've met the lads and they're a good bunch. I definitely feel like I'm going to fit in and that I can do well here."

Cardiff also confirmed the signing of reported former Saints trialist Adeteye Gbadehan, who hails from the USA, in the same intake.

Academy manager Gavin Chesterfield said: “We wanted to add a little bit of experience to what will continue to be a very young under-21 side this season.

"All the players add something different to the team and they have already integrated well with their new teammates.”