Southampton’s hopes of getting rid of Wesley Hoedt look to have suffered a blow, with a recent report suggesting that the Dutch defender is ‘destined’ to return to the south coast club this summer.
According to reports from Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport, the 27-year-old will return to Southampton this summer, despite Lazio holding an option to buy the centre-back as part of the deal which saw him join on loan this season.
Southampton signed the defender from Lazio in 2017 for £15m but he has endured a nightmare time with the Saints thus far, having made just 45 appearances in all competitions before a series of disappointing loan spells. He has described his move to St Mary’s as a “mistake” and criticised Ralph Hasenhuttl for not giving him a chance to prove his worth, as per Daily Mail.
He initially joined Celta Vigo for the second half of the 2018/19 season before spending last season on loan with Royal Antwerp, but it seems clear that Hasenhuttl has never been convinced by the defender as he was sent back to Lazio on loan for this season.
He has been limited to just 15 appearances in Serie A for Simone Inzaghi’s side, where he has averaged a lowly 6.36 rating, so you can hardly blame them for not wanting to make his stay a permanent one.
The £5.4m-rated Dutchman’s four-year Southampton nightmare looks set to continue in the summer as he will return to the Saints, where he is presumably unwanted by Hasenhuttl and will likely struggle to move ahead of any of Jannik Vestergaard, Jan Bednarek, Mohammed Salisu or Jack Stephens in the pecking order with the south coast club.
Unfortunately for Martin Semmens, Hoedt’s contact with Southampton doesn’t expire until the end of the 2021/22 season, so he will surely be desperate to sell him this summer; otherwise it seems likely that he will depart on a free transfer next year.
This latest update is frustrating for Southampton, as they perhaps thought they had seen the last of Hoedt when he rejoined Lazio, but his poor performances have ended up costing both clubs, as the Saints will now have to look elsewhere if they want to sell him permanently in the summer.