As far as summer clear-outs go, Southampton had one of the most effective out of any side in the Premier League.
Although the majority of departures were loan-deals, you get a sense that Ralph Hasenhuttl is planning on selling most of the players he allowed to leave permanently in the not too distant future, with the likes of Mario Lemina, Guido Carrillo and Wesley Hoedt all moving on St. Mary’s this window with their Southampton futures up in the air, but it is the latter we will be focusing on today,
Hoedt, who is valued at £10.8m on Transfermarkt, has fallen into a similar trap that we have seen with countless Southampton signings in recent memory of looking promising and seemingly looking like a good deal but then failing to adjust to the Premier League once arriving on the south coast.
The former Lazio defender’s loan move to Royal Antwerp on deadline day was swift and out of the blue, but, it has left Hasenhuttl with a potential problem in the Saints squad, that being the lack of centre-backs.
Indeed, with the Austrian manager preferring to use a three at the back formation in a 5-2-2-1 as Total Football Analysis show, having just five senior centre-backs as squad depth charts from Transfermarkt show could lead to some problems.
With Kevin Danso already set to miss the next Premier League game due to suspension, Southampton might have missed a trick not going in for another centre-back this summer just to be sure they have the bodies needed to cover the defence for situations like this.
As well as bolstering the numbers, bringing an extra defender in, particularly one who is young such as Danso, will help Southampton building towards the future, something the club should be considering with Maya Yoshida turning 31 this summer.
The Saints did well to shift off lots of deadwood this summer, but by also allowing Hoedt to leave they have potentially left themselves to undermine the centre-back area of the squad, and Hasenhuttl might have been smart to bring in an additional defender.