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22 August 2017

Southampton complete signing of centre-back Wesley Hoedt on five-year deal from Lazio

SOUTHAMPTON have completed the signing of centre-back Wesley Hoedt on a five-year deal from Lazio – and it could have huge ramifications for Virgil Van Dijk.

Dutch international Van Dijk is still wanted by Liverpool and Chelsea as they look to bolster their back lines.

Wesley Hoedt is now a Southampton player
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He remains exiled from the Saints first-team side  – with Jurgen Klopp reportedly “ready to pounce” on the £60million-rated star.

Hoedt, 23, becomes Mauricio Pellegrino’s third summer signing.

Saints vice chairman of football Les Reed said: “Wesley is one of the most promising young defenders in Europe and represents a significant addition to our squad. Having procured a Champions League finalist from one Italian club we have now added an Italian Supercoppa winner from another.

“We believe he has all the qualities to play a big part in our future, and we have worked hard to bring him to Southampton, with a number of other high-profile clubs interested in him.

“Finding a top quality central defender is difficult in the current environment and now we have six internationals in this position, both young and experienced.

“Finding a naturally left-footed player is even more difficult. We have been tracking central defenders on our target list for the past 12 months and Wesley has always been at the top of that list, so it was important to act when the opportunity came.”


Wesley Hoedt has long been a target of Southampton
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Liverpool target Virgil van Dijk is on his way back to full fitness after injury

“Wesley has proven his talent through his performances for Lazio, as well as the Netherlands, and we believe he can develop even further here at Southampton, alongside his international teammate Virgil van Dijk, as well as the likes of Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida, Jan Bednarek and Florin Gardos.

“With Wesley joining those players, we believe we have the right amount of quality, depth and flexibility at centre-back to help us achieve our aims this season.”

Hoedt said: “I’m really happy to be here. I think Southampton is a really big club, so it’s a good next step for me to come here and to play in the Premier League and try to help the best I can.”

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