Southampton fans have been calling for Maya Yoshida to return to the starting XI in recent weeks, but his display against Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday night suggests that those supporters are wrong and Mark Hughes should sell him before the deadline for many foreign clubs on Friday.
That would be an absolute joke to me considering that Yoshida is in our top 2 defenders and Gabbiadini is one of our top 2 strikers. Both need to start. Sadly though, it just wouldn’t surprise me anymore! #SaintsFC
— Nathan Newington (@newington13) August 27, 2018
I have no idea how Yoshida isn’t in squad, I would start him with the big Dane
— Chris pope (@FreddycpPope) August 25, 2018
For the love of God, can we PLEASE start Yoshida over Hoedt!?!? #SaintsFC
— Connor Thompson (@Connor_T10) August 25, 2018
Vestergaard, Yoshida, Moi, Armstrong & Ings all HAVE to start. #saintsfc
— Matt Dettmer (@dettmer93) August 25, 2018
Well, the fact that the Japan international represented his country at the 2018 World Cup means that he was behind many of his teammates in terms of being prepared for the start of the new campaign, and he hasn’t played a single minute of Premier League football.
Not only that, the 30-year-old failed to even make the substitutes’ bench on the opening day against Burnley and then for the defeat to Leicester City at St Mary’s last Saturday, with the likes of Jannik Vestergaard, Jack Stephens, Wesley Hoedt and Jan Bednarek preferred.
However, Yoshida got his opportunity to impress against the Seagulls in midweek by starting alongside the latter at the heart of the backline, and while he was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet, he was rarely troubled and suffered his fair share of dodgy moments, including one clearance that went to the side and straight back to a Brighton player rather than up the pitch.
The Japanese centre-back has never really been a regular for Southampton throughout his six years at St Mary’s, yet he has become a big crowd favourite because of the way he has never moaned and stepped in and performed when required.
However, his stock is probably at its highest since he’s been with the club following some impressive displays in Russia earlier this summer, and now may be the time to cash in on him so the south coast outfit can look to the future instead of using a player that is unlikely to get any better.