Attempting to break back into the first-team after a year out on loan is a difficult task for some players, but not entirely impossible.
This season we have seen Sofiane Boufal return to the starting XI after a year away in Spain with Celta Vigo, with the Moroccan winger playing some of the most entertaining football he has ever produced on the south coast, yet such a similar story seemingly won’t be said for Wesley Hoedt.
The Dutch defender was shipped out on loan on deadline this summer to Belgian side Royal Antwerp, and in a recent interview with Sport/Foot Magazine via Sport Witness, more light has been shed as to why the centre-back was loaned out for the year.
In a revealing interview, Hoedt admitted that it was a mistake to make the move from Lazio to Southampton, with the defender citing the allure of playing in the Premier League blinding his judgement when the deal took place in 2017.
As well as regretting the move, the Netherlands international also admitted that manager Ralph Hasenhuttl failed to give him a second chance in the first-team despite being told he would have one.
Hoedt said: “He (Hasenhuttl) told me he wanted to give me a second chance, but I was never given one, to begin with. I trained hard for six weeks, but nothing. After a talk, I decided to prove my worth elsewhere.”
If there was any hope of Hoedt making a spectacular return to the first-team next year under very specific circumstances, all hope now seems to be gone following this somewhat explosive interview.
Yet that doesn’t mean to say his footballing career as a whole is dead in the water. After all, Hoedt is a player who has represented the Dutch national team on multiple occasions and was impressive during his time in Serie A with Lazio.
However, any sort of redemption story with Southampton now is seemingly lost, and Hoedt must try to focus on impressing in Belgium if he is to win a permanent move away from the south coast next year.