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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Crouch joins Saints
Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch has completed his 2m move from Aston Villa to Southampton.

The 23-year-old former QPR and Portsmouth forward signed a four-year deal after completing a medical.

"I'm thrilled at joining Southampton. I am looking forward to testing myself against the likes of Kevin Phillips and James Beattie," said Crouch.

"I felt I needed a fresh start. I don't see this as a step down because I am moving to a club that is going in the right direction," Crouch added.

"Paul Sturrock and Rupert Lowe are extremely ambitious for the club and I was very impressed with what they had to say," Crouch added.

It does not mean he is a replacement for James Beattie
Saints chairman Rupert Lowe

Saints chairman Rupert Lowe, said: "He is a unique player who scored a prolific amount of goals for Portsmouth and QPR.

Lowe said the 6ft 7ins striker had excellent touch for a big man.

But the signing is likely to increase speculation regarding the future of James Beattie, who has been linked with Newcastle.

However Lowe denied that Crouch's arrival signalled Beattie's departure.

"It does not mean he is a replacement for James Beattie. He will be cover for James and there to put pressure on him to keep performing," added Lowe.

Former Villa boss Graham Taylor brought Crouch from Pompey for 5m in March 2002.

But the lanky player failed to make an impact under Taylor's successor David O'Leary.

Bolton and Norwich, with whom the 23-year-old spent most of last season on loan, were also believed to be chasing Crouch's signature.

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