Rewind five years, Ronny Deila was preparing to secure Celtic’s fifth consecutive Scottish Premiership title in the summer before the 2015-16 season and wanted Wesley Hoedt. Now, they can get him, if they want him.
At just 20 years of age, Dutch defender Hoedt had earned rave reviews for his performances at AZ Alkmaar and European clubs were interested. The Scottish Herald claim Celtic were among those interested.
But instead, the six-time Netherlands international chose to join Serie A side Lazio – a move which saw him do okay, clocking up 61 appearances in all competitions. It saw him earn a £15million (Times) move to Southampton in 2017.
A decent first season was then followed up by a difficult start to 2018-19, and a loan move to Spanish side Celta Vigo and then Belgian club Royal Antwerp has followed. The Times claim Southampton have transfer-listed the defender.
Likely to cost a fraction of the £15million Southampton spent to lure him to the south coast from Lazio three years ago, Hoedt is on the lookout for a new club. Celtic, meanwhile, desperately need cover at the heart of their defence.
Just Christopher Jullian and Kris Ajer are recognised first-team options. Both have been linked with Italian sides, while Hatem Abd Elhamed and Nir Bitton are preferred elsehwere – at right-back and midfield respectively.
So, given Celtic are admirers of Hoedt and that the player is now available and for a much cheaper fee than the one Southampton paid – surely it is a no-brainer for the Hoops to raid Southampton for Hoedt?
The two sides have an excellent connection – Stuart Armstrong, Victor Wanyama, Virgil van Dijk and Fraser Forster have all moved from Celtic to Southampton, while Mo Elyounoussi is on loan at Celtic from the Saints right now.
Celtic need a defender, Southampton want rid of Hoedt. It is a move that makes sense for all parties involved.