At Southampton in the summer of 2017, most of the talk coming out of St. Mary’s was about central defenders.
And Wesley Hoedt contributed to that when he joined the south coast club from Lazio in a deal that left supporters buzzing.
Welcome to the #saintsfc family Wesley. I hope you become a saints legend like our other Dutch CB legends Hooiveld & Monkou
— Rick H (@rick_harris1) August 22, 2017
Great signing and for a fraction of what’s being thrown about in this window
— Mark Wilkins (@w1lkins82_mark) August 22, 2017
Okgggg g YESSSSSS WELCOME
— Joe. (@WardPrxwse) August 22, 2017
Great signing! Welcome #SaintWesley
— Kyran Rickman (@RickmanKyran) August 22, 2017
— Marcus Berwick (@marcusberwick) August 22, 2017
Great signing… confused though if a vid of a new player or a Ridley Scott movie trailer
— Clive Arnold (@Clive_Arnold) August 22, 2017
LES REEED WENT TO EUROPE
— YoshidaFan (@yershida) August 22, 2017
Wooo nice one!! Spooky announcement
— : Ash : (@THE_SA1NTS) August 22, 2017
— david (@escroto__) August 22, 2017
The very same summer Virgil van Dijk was, of course, being linked with a big-money move to Liverpool (BBC Sport).
And while many thought the arrival of Hoedt signalled the imminent departure of his compatriot, former Southampton vice-chairman Les Reed reassured the St. Mary’s faithful that the 25-year-old was coming in to partner van Dijk, rather than replace him.
“We believe he can develop even further here at Southampton, alongside his international teammate Virgil van Dijk, as well as the likes of Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida, Jan Bednarek and Florin Gardos,” Reed told Southampton’s official club website.
“With Wesley joining those players, we believe we have the right amount of quality, depth and flexibility at centre-back to help us achieve our aims this season.”
In the end, though, what Reed envisioned did not exactly come into fruition. Van Dijk eventually got that dream move to Liverpool, while Hoedt turned out to be a pretty poor signing.
The Netherlands international is currently out on loan at Celta Vigo after struggling to make the sort of impact that was expected of him, leaving his long-term future at St. Mary’s in doubt.
So much promise, yet little came after Hoedt’s arrival and the hype that came alongside it.
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