According to a report in The Times analysing what has gone wrong at Southampton this season, a number of their first-team players are said to have lost confidence in defender Wesley Hoedt following repeated errors at the back.
The Dutchman was signed from Lazio in a £15m deal last summer, and the south coast outfit would probably have been hoping that he could be a long-term replacement for either Virgil van Dijk when he eventually left St Mary’s, or finally a successor for Jose Fonte following his departure in January 2017.
However, the 24-year-old has struggled at the back and has far too often been culpable for the goals they have conceded – including Chelsea’s second in the semi-finals of the FA Cup at Wembley last Sunday when he lost the man he should have been marking, Alvaro Morata, while he was criticised by his own fans on Twitter following the 3-0 defeat to West Ham United last month.
The Netherlands international has often looked less than mobile and the fact that The Times says that his teammates have basically said they don’t feel comfortable when he is on the pitch is hardly good when they are battling against the drop.
Southampton play host to Bournemouth in what is a must-win fixture at St Mary’s on Saturday, and it will be interesting to see whether Hoedt is named in the line-up after this revelation.