Southampton’s former vice-chairman Les Reed has revealed the reason behind Wesley Hoedt’s failure at the club in an exclusive interview with Football FanCast.
Saints paid £15m to sign Hoedt from Serie A club Lazio in 2017, with the Netherlands international signing a five-year contract at St Mary’s.
At the time, Reed said that the defender was “one of the most promising young defenders in Europe” but he struggled to make a real impact on the south coast.
Hoedt made 45 appearances for Saints in total, making 23 appearances under Mark Hughes and 22 under Mauricio Pellegrino.
He never played a single minute under the management of Ralph Hasenhuttl and he is now back in Serie A, playing for Lazio on loan, the club from whom he joined the Saints.
Reed felt that the deal was a good one when he arrived at the club, but that a mistake early in his Saints spell ultimately destroyed his confidence.
Speaking exclusively to FFC, he said: “Wesley was on our radar in Ronald’s reign, although we bought him in Puel’s reign because Ronald wanted a left-sided centre-half and we didn’t have one. And he was playing for Lazio in the Champions League and was in the Dutch national team.
“At the day of purchase, he was a good buy.
“But having got in the building, Claude, who wanted a left-sided centre-half because of the way he wanted to play, he did make an incredible error that led to a defeat, and that was it, wiped off. Destroyed the player’s confidence and then it gets very difficult to pull that back.”