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'I don't really care about the price tag' - Gavin Bazunu 'absolutely ready' for Premier League challenge

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Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu made the move to Southampton this summer. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu made the move to Southampton this summer. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu made the move to Southampton this summer. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

GAVIN Bazunu says he is not thinking about his price tag as he prepares to embrace the pressure of Premier League football with Southampton.

The 20-year-old Dubliner is now in pre-season with the Saints after completing his £12m switch from Manchester City, with the Premier League champions retaining a buyback clause for the former Shamrock Rovers net-minder.

It’s a step up the ladder for Bazunu, who will battle for a first-team place with Alex McCarthy and, in an extensive interview for Saturday’s Irish Independent, he spoke of how he relishes the additional expectation it will bring.

“I actually find it easier, the more I’m feeling the pressure,” says Bazunu, who did have the chance to stay at Manchester City as a back-up.

“If my focus is there, I’ve no doubt I’m going to go and prove myself. I was very clear in what I wanted to do (in the summer) and I want to have my destiny in my own hands. I’m absolutely ready.

“I’ve not thought of the tag too much, I don’t really care. All I’m looking forward to is the opportunity to play in the Premier League. You could put any number next to my name and it won’t make me feel any better than the chance to go and play in the Premier League. That’s the main thing for me.”

Bazunu said that an early meeting with Ralph Hasenhuttl and his staff really sold Southampton to him, but he still faced a decision over whether to go that was informed by an honest chat with Man City goalkeeping coach Xabi Macazaga.

“I would have had a really good conversation with him (Hasenhuttl), the goalkeeping coach (Andrew Sparkes), and some other people at the club a few weeks back before anything was done. And that was a big part of me signing for the club, to hear from him and what he thinks I can do was a massive part in that. And also the goalkeeping coach and what his role in the development would be. That’s very important.

“It was a big decision to move away from Manchester City but I had multiple conversations with Xabi, he was brilliant for me and understood the opportunity that I had. He didn’t want to stand in my way which was massive for me and from then I was very clear that I wanted to go out and be playing regular football

“I’ve had two really good years of playing 30/40 games (on loan) and it’s stood to me and I don’t want to go back to a position where I’m going to be limited in the games I can play. I’ve been given the opportunity to prove myself and I want to have my destiny in my own hands.”

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Read Dan McDonnell's exclusive interview with Gavin Bazunu in Saturday's Irish Independent and on Independent.ie.


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