A defender for second-tier club Southampton was seriously injured in an assault outside a nightclub on Friday.

Dan Seaborne, 24, was found lying on the ground with head injuries in the early hours of Friday in Southampton on the south coast of England.

''Dan Seaborne has sustained a significant head injury and is in hospital under close observation,'' Southampton said in a statement. ''His condition is currently stable, not life threatening, and he is showing signs of improvement.''

Two men aged 35 and 29 have been arrested as police try to establish the circumstances leading to the attack.