Steven Davis leaves crisis club to rejoin Premier League with promoted Southampton



By Adam Higgins
Chief Scotland Correspondent



Davis, captain of Rangers and Northern Ireland, has spent a total of four seasons in the Premier League with Aston Villa and Fulham combined


Northern Ireland skipper Steven Davis has become the latest player to leave crisis club Rangers by signing for Premier League newcomers Southampton.

The 27-year-old midfielder was captain of the Scottish Premier League side however left recently after rejecting a transfer to the newco club.

Davis, who follows NI team-mate Kyle Lafferty out of Ibrox after he moved to Swiss outfit FC Sion, has agreed a three-year contract with the Saints. He follows Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker out of the Ibrox departure door after they moved to the English top-flight with Everton and Norwich City respectively. The move marks Davis's return to the Premier League, where he played for both Aston Villa and Fulham earlier in his career.

Davis told the club's official website after returning: "I'm delighted to get everything done and dusted and I'm looking forward to getting started. There was quite a bit of interest in me from other clubs. But, after speaking to the chairman and the manager, I saw the level of ambition the club has shown. They have had a lot of success over the past couple of years to get to this stage and they don't want to stand still - they want to keep moving forward and that was a big thing for me."

However, Rangers chief executive Charles Green has vowed to challenge the claims of players who have left Ibrox that they are free agents- and to seek compensation from the clubs they have joined.

The Scottish Football Association has already rejected an application from one English club Premier League club for international clearance to sign a player leaving Rangers and the matter will now be passed to world governing body FIFA.

Steven Whittaker joined Norwich City, Everton have captured forward Steven Naismith, while midfielder Jamie Ness has joined Stoke City. Lafferty joined Swiss club FC Sion, while John Fleck has moved to League One outfit Coventry City.

Davis left Fulham for Rangers in 2008 after an initial loan and went on to win the 2010 Scottish Players' Player of the Year and become captain of the Glasgow club.  

During 2011-12, he scored four times in 33 SPL appearances under Ally McCoist while in total made 211 appearances for Rangers netting twenty-one goals. Davis currently has four goals for his country in 51 caps. In his four full seasons with the Glasgow based club, the central midfielder won three SPL titles, two Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups. Last summer, he had committed his future to Rangers by signing a five-year extension to his contract.


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