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The Chalkboard: Wesley Hoedt absence vs Huddersfield suggests January exit is on cards

Southampton centre-back Wesley Hoedt has found first-team minutes hard to come by in recent weeks, and his exclusion from the squad altogether for the win against Huddersfield Town on Saturday suggests that a January exit could be edging closer.

What’s the word, then?

Well, hopes were high when the south coast outfit signed the Netherlands international – presumably as a long-term replacement for Jose Fonte or a future successor to Virgil van Dijk – during the summer of 2017, but he has struggled to make a positive impact.

Instead, the 24-year-old has become renowned among the St Mary’s faithful for making key defensive errors, and he has even scored own goals against Manchester City and Liverpool already this season.

The Dutchman has often come under criticism from his own supporters but despite that, he was a regular fixture in the starting XI under Mark Hughes before he was sacked earlier this month.

On the chalkboard

Hoedt was dropped to the substitutes’ bench for Hughes’ last match in charge against Manchester United following a difficult afternoon for him in the defeat to Fulham previously, and he hasn’t played a single minute of Premier League football instead despite playing the full 90 minutes in all of their opening 13 top-flight fixtures.

As things stand, Jannnik Vestergaard, Maya Yoshida and Jan Bednarek – who all started in the wins against Arsenal and Huddersfield – look to be new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl’s preferred centre-back options – and Jack Stephens and youngster Kayne Ramsay were named on the bench ahead of him at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The Dutchman has thrown his toys out of the pram on social media previously when things haven’t gone his way meaning he is far from a fans’ favourite, and Hasenhuttl may well be ready to get rid in January to try and raise funds for new players.

Check out the video below for Emma Conybeare’s rundown of which clubs need what in the January transfer window…

Article title: The Chalkboard: Wesley Hoedt absence vs Huddersfield suggests January exit is on cards

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