Writer: Stef C
Date:Tuesday January 10 2006
Saints keeper Antti Niemi has passed a medical to complete his move to Fulham today for a fee believed to be in the region of £1.5 million.
Harry Redknapp confirmed he tried to hijack the deal at the last minute to take Niemi to Fratton Park. Thankfully Antti snubbed the move, keeping his legendary status at St Mary's intact. He'll be remembered as one of the clubs greatest keepers ever - alongside Peter Shilton.
The giant blond haired Finn became renowned in the Premiership with his imposing stature and breathtaking saves. Many of his saves are memorable for Saints fans, the best example of his ability for me is his stunning triple save from Patrick Viera, which helped us to a 3-2 victory over Arsenal two seasons ago.
It's a huge shame for us to see him leave, but it's understandable that such a top class keeper wants to play at the highest level while he's still young enough. He was also one of the higher earners at the club and had taken a huge paycut when Saints were relegated.
Hopefully Lowe will be shrewd and use the saving on wages to offer Theo Walcott an excellent contract to stay at the club.
Its seems maybe the disappointment of his goalkeeping coach David Coles leaving has also added to Niemi's decision to leave.
Luckily Saints have an excellent understudy in Paul Smith. His opportunities have been limited with Niemi at the club, but he's proved when called on that he's a top class keeper and deserves his chance in the first team. Had Niemi stayed Smith would have no doubt moved on himself quite soon, as at 25 he's too good not to be playing regular football.
Let us know your most memorable Antti saves on the forum.
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Go on, get vitalled!
Date:Tuesday January 10 2006
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