Florin Gardos is a Romanian central defender who was born on 29th October 1988 in Satu Mare, Romania. Gardos started his career outside the Romanian top-flight for Concordia Chiajna. After representing his country at youth level, Gardos signed for Steaua Bucharest in 2010.
Gardos settled in fairly well at Steaua initially. He featured in 33 games in all competitions during 2010/11, scoring his first goal in a 3-1 Europa League win over FC Utrecht. Gardos also made his full international debut during the season in February, in a friendly against Ukraine. His 2011/12 was less successful. Gardos was suspended for 10 games in September 2011 after breaking Cosmin Bacila's leg in a challenge against CS Pandurii Targu Jiu. By the time Gardos had returned Steaua had signed Vlad Chiriches, and he was no longer guaranteed a starting place. After Chiriches moved to Tottenham in 2013 Gardos was able to re-establish himself as a key fixture at Arena Nationala. He helped Steua pick up another league title in 2013/14.
On 14th August 2014 Gardos signed for Southampton for a fee believed to be in the region of €7,500,000. He made his debut as a late substitute against Newcastle on 13th September. A week later he was given a further 45 minutes to stake his claim for a place, coming on for Maya Yoshida at half-time against Swansea. Gardos played reasonably well on that occasion. The Romanian was excellent in the win at Arsenal in the League Cup on September, looking very composed with the ball at his feet. Unfortunately Gardos was unable to maintain his form over the course of the 2014/15 season. He looked shaky at Stoke in a League Cup game and was sent off in the following round at Sheffield United. He looked solid as part of a back three at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, but less impressive against Arsenal on New Year's Day. He defended heroically in the 1-0 win at Man United on January 11th, and was slightly unfortunate against Newcastle the following week. Gardos was dragged off at half-time following a poor display against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup on January 24th. He did fine in clashes with QPR and West Ham, but was substituted early at West Brom as Ronald Koeman switched formation. That was his final first team appearance of 2014/15. He kept ticking over with a few run-outs for the U21s.
Gardos featured in Saints' tour of Austria during the summer of 2015, but then suffered a major blow when he sustained a knee injury which would rule him out for months.