Cork backs Rodriguez to shine
Southampton's Jack Cork has backed record signing Jay Rodriguez to justify his hefty price tag by starring in the Premier League this season.
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The newly-promoted side signed the Burnley striker last month for £6million, breaking the club's long-standing transfer record set when Derby's Rory Delap joined for £4million in 2001.
Some eyebrows have been raised by the size of the fee Rodriguez commanded, but Saints midfielder Cork, who played alongside the 22-year-old at the Clarets, has backed the frontman to be a success on the south coast.
"It's a big statement from us to say that we're prepared to fight and stay in this league," he told the club's official website. "We won't go down easily.
"I'm expecting us to do very well next year and I'm excited to see what other signings we'll get in.
"I've heard that it was a lot of money but I'm sure Jay will justify the price tag because I know he's a great player."
Cork, who has been included the Team GB squad for London 2012, added: "Jay Rod is a striker who's got a bit of everything really.
"What I saw of him when I played at Burnley is that he's quick, he's strong, a good header of the ball, and he can score a variety of goals as well not just inside the box, but a few outside as well.
"Like all of the lads he'll be trying to break into the side so I think pre-season training will be as sharp as anything because everyone will want to prove that they can do it at this level.
"It's one of the best leagues in the world and everyone wants to show that they can play there.
"Hopefully he can replicate his form here and get some goals in the Premier League which would be good for him and the club too."
Southampton have been the least active of the three promoted sides so far this summer but are working to add to their squad.
Vitesse Arnhem's Alexander Buttner has revealed his desire to move to St Mary's and the club is understood to be closing in on a deal for him.
Saints are also having to protect their assets, with reports on Tuesday suggesting Chelsea are preparing a £4million bid for highly-rated left-back Luke Shaw.
The 16-year-old has also been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal, but Press Association Sport understands Saints will ignore any bids for him.
Shaw will begin a three-year professional contract at Saints when he turns 17 next week and looks set to add to his single first-team appearance next season after the club announced he will be amongst four academy players who will join up with the first-team squad for pre-season training.