Premier League

Ralph Hasenhuttl should seek to replace linked-away Wesley Hoedt with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill

Ralph Hasenhuttl should seek to replace linked-away Wesley Hoedt with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill

According to a recent report from Faro de Vigo, Wesley Hoedt looks set to leave Southampton this month. The 24-year-old only made the move to the Premier League outfit back in the summer of 2017 after two years at Serie A heavyweights Lazio, yet struggles for regular game time under new Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has plunged his future at the club into huge doubt.

And reports suggest that the centre back is set to join Spanish club Celta Vigo on loan for the rest of the season in a bid to earn that regular first team football, and the South Coast outfit simply must seek to replace the Spain-bound defender by luring Chelsea outcast Gary Cahill to St Mary’s.

The Breakdown

Ultimately, Hoedt became a regular at Southampton upon arrival at the club 18 months ago, appearing 28 times in the Premier League as they narrowly avoided relegation, before turning out frequently under Mark Hughes this time round as well before the Welshman’s sacking in December.

But since the arrival of former Red Bull Leipzig boss Hasenhuttl, the Netherlands international has been nowhere to be seen in failing to appear at all for the Saints under the Austrian, with his failure to appear in each of their last six match-day squads underlining just how far away he is from Hasenhuttl’s thinking.

As such, one could argue that the Saints do not need to replace Hoedt given how far out of favour he is, but having played with three centre backs on occasion under Hasenhuttl, another accomplished option in that area of the field certainly wouldn’t go amiss to compete with the likes of Jan Bednarek, Jack Stephens, Jannik Vestegaard, and Maya Yoshida – Cahill falls into that category.

The 33-year-old may have seriously struggled for regular first team football under new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri this season, appearing only seven times in all competitions, but one mustn’t forget just how great a defender he has been at Stamford Bridge over the years in helping the Blues win two Premier League titles in 2015 and 2017.

In fact, the latter of those two title successes saw Cahill excel in Antonio Conte’s back three with 27 Premier League appearances for the West Londoners – so not only does he possess a vast amount of experience at both club and international level, but he has produced the goods in a system similar to what Hasenhuttl has been implementing at Southampton.

And having delivered that level of performance little over 18 months ago for Chelsea, there is clearly still a very good centre back in the former England international – and in a Saints side seeking to pull clear of the bottom three, he could prove to be the ideal addition.

Thus, with Hoedt seemingly on his way out of St Mary’s this month, the South Coast outfit must seek to replace him despite his lowly position in the pecking order, with £9 million-rated Cahill (as per Transfermarkt) the man who would seriously bolster Hasenhuttl’s centre back ranks after Hoedt’s exit.

Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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