Leicester City had a dramatic transfer deadline day. With the Foxes in desperate need of reinforcements in defence, they had to scurry to sign someone who can help them save their Premier League from ruin.
In the end, Leicester ended up agreeing on a deal to sign Stoke City defender Harry Souttar for around £15m.
Souttar was recognized as one of the best defenders in the Championship last season before suffering a horrible ACL injury that ended his campaign.
But it’s clear that the Foxes had their eyes on him for a long time and after seeing him recover well from the awful injury, they decided to pounce on him in January.
After lengthy negotiations, they managed to strike an agreement to sign the towering centre-back.
Who is Harry Souttar?
Souttar is an Australian international with deep roots in the beautiful game. Born to a Scottish father and Australian mother in Aberdeen, Scotland, he opted to make use of his Australian roots to play for the Socceroos at the international level.
Interestingly, Harry’s father also used to be a professional footballer who played in Scotland’s lower divisions for Brechin City in the 1970s.
Thanks to that, Harry was able to start his youth career at the Brechin City Youth Academy.
Thus started his journey towards becoming a professional career and thanks to his impressive work for Brechin, Scotland’s top division side Dundee United roped him in at the age of 15 in 2013.
Souttar made his professional debut for Dundee at the age of 17 in 2015, only making two appearances – which was enough to impress scouts from Stoke City.
The Championship side signed and brought him to England in 2016, where he spent the first few seasons playing with the reserves.
His professional career so far
Harry spent the 2017-18 season on loan at Ross County – impressing in the Scottish Premiership. That allowed him to get loaned to League One side Fleetwood Town for the next two seasons – where he gained valuable senior football experience.
He received his breakthrough at Stoke in the 2020/21 season – making 38 appearances for them in the Championship and helping them keep 15 clean sheets!
Unfortunately, a horrible knee injury in the 2021/22 season kept him on the shelve for almost a year – making him miss a lot of games.
But Souttar showcased impressive guts to recover in time to play for Australia at the Qatar World Cup. He put in some impressive performances against Denmark and Tunisia, helping his side keep two clean sheets in four games.
The powerhouse dominated a number of attacking players and caught Leicester’s eyes with his performances.
His impressive World Cup campaign forced the Foxes to chase him all through the January transfer window, before finally sealing his acquisition on transfer deadline day.
They will now hope that the intimidating centre-back can bring some real steel to their backline and help them enjoy a decent end to the Premier League season.
How tall is he and what are his strengths?
The biggest thing someone can immediately think about when looking at Souttar is his gigantic size. The 6’6’ centre-back is set to be among the tallest outfield players in the Premier League. He is an inch taller than Virgil van Dijk and two inches taller than Harry Maguire.
Going by his bulky size and physical shape, some fans are mocking him to be the next Maguire for Leicester.
Considering that the current Manchester United captain actually enjoyed some prolific years at Leicester, that is not exactly a bad thing for the Foxes.
It’s quite obvious that one of the 24-year-old Australian defender’s biggest strengths is winning aerial duels.
Thanks to his sheer size, he obviously has an advantage over most strikers in coming up strong at the end of crosses.
Not just that, but Souttar is also known to know how to read the game well and often makes key clearances for his side. He is also comfortable with the ball in his feet, being able to move the ball forward efficiently and often playing some threatening long balls.
Going by this basic description, it almost seems like Souttar might be a carbon copy of Maguire.
However, as seen in the World Cup and previous games, the 24-year-old can deal with pacey attackers and is so gigantic that he actually makes most forwards look like kids in front of him.
Who are Harry Souttar’s brothers?
The new Leicester City centre-back comes from an ardent football-supporting family and one with its roots deep in the beautiful game.
Not only was Harry’s father a professional footballer in Scotland, but his two elder brothers also shared a similar road to sports.
His eldest brother, Aaron, passed away last year. He decided against pursuing a footballing career and instead pursued a career in golf in Scotland.
In fact, he was a pretty good golfer as well – being a club champion at the Brechin Golf Club. While his younger brothers only completed some basic education, Aaron also took his educational career seriously.
He went on to complete his degrees and graduate as a design engineer – helping him pursue a different career from those around him.
Unfortunately for the Souttar family, they lost Aaron last year after he lost a battle with illness. He suffered from a motor neurone disease, passing away at the age of 42.
But his younger siblings, John and Harry, are inspired to succeed in life and dedicate their success to their elder brother.
John Souttar can be recognized by ardent followers of Scottish football. Born in 1996, the elder of the two Souttar brothers started his youth career at the age of 6 for Brechin City Youths – the club his entire family are die-hard supporters of.
After spending a few years with Brechin City, John opted to take a step forward and joined Dundee United’s youth system at the age of 10.
He progressed through the levels in the Scottish Premiership side’s youth academy and was able to make his professional debut at the age of 17 in 2013.
While he did not win any trophies with Dundee United in his four years at the professional level, John was a part of the team that finished runners-up in the Scottish Cup in the 2013-14 season.
Souttar joined Heart of Midlothian in 2016 and was a regular for them in his debut season until he ruptured his Achilles tendon in 2017.
The years from 2017-2021 saw the centre-back go through some really tough times, suffering a lot of nasty injuries and almost seeing his career end prematurely.
But John showcased admirable strength to come out strong from his injury-ravaged years, being part of the Hearts team that won the Scottish Championship (second division) title in the 2020/21 season.
He made 27 appearances in the SPL for his side in the 2021/22 season, earning him a move to title contenders Rangers last year.
John currently plays for Rangers and has made 6 appearances for Scotland – having opted to represent the country he was born into.
While not as well known as his younger brother, the entire Souttar family will be fully behind Harry as he aims to make them proud by becoming the next big (literally and figuratively) defender to be unearthed at Leicester City.