Aug 1, 2017
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Who is Southampton and Everton transfer target Wesley Hoedt?

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Southampton have yet to complete a lot of their transfer business this summer with only one new signing having joined the club so far.

Jan Bednarek is a talented centre-half with a lot of potential, but he is unlikely to feature prominently to start with.

Virgil van Dijk could yet leave the club and if that were the case, they would need to sign an accomplished defender to replace him. That will be one of the club’s main priorities for this window.

The Daily Mail report that they are weighing up a move for Lazio centre-back Wesley Hoedt, who is rated at £12 million.

The 23-year-old was a target for the club last summer and he has remained on the club’s radar. They clearly have a good knowledge of him, but they aren’t the only Premier League club looking at the defender.

The Liverpool Echo report that Everton are also interested in the Dutchman and could be ready to launch a bid as they look for a player to fill the gap in the squad left by the injured Ramiro Funes Mori.

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Where has he been?

Hoedt came through the ranks at AZ Alkmaar and made his debut for the club in 2013 during a Europa League match against PAOK.

He went on to impress for the Dutch club in the Eredivisie and quickly emerged as one of the most exciting players in the division.

However, he opted to leave the club on a free transfer to join Lazio in the summer of 2015 and managed to gain a regular place in the first-team.

It can be difficult to adjust to a bigger league when leaving Holland, especially after only one season of first-team football, but the centre-back managed to do thrive in Serie A and that suggests that he would be able to adapt to English football if a move arose.

Style of play

The Dutchman has an impressive physique and he has slowly become more dominant in the air as he gains more experience in senior football.

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His aerial success rate rose from 49.23% during the 2015/16 campaign to 83.87% last season. This is a significant increase and shows that he is quickly developing in the heart of the Lazio defence.

There is a determination about his character and that is evident in the improvements he has made to his game.

His strongest attribute is his anticipation, as he reads the game well and breaks down attacks with regularity.

As a Dutch international, his ball-playing abilities are impressive as he rarely loses possession and is confident at launching attacks from deep.

Last season, he had a pass success rate of 87.3% and he is similar to Van Dijk in that regard. Although he isn’t at the level of his compatriot, the signs are there that he could become an excellent Premier League centre-back.

Would he be a good signing?

There is always an element of risk when targeting a player from abroad that hasn’t played in the Premier League.

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At 23 years of age, Hoedt is still in the early stage of his development and there are no guarantees that he would be a success if he did move to the Premier League.

However, he has already impressed in two different countries, which shows good adaptability.

His physique suggests he would thrive in England and for £12 million, he could turn out to be a bargain in the current climate.

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Everton · Southampton · Transfers
Jake Jackman

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.