Sport Hoedt looking forward to partnering Van Dijk

16:12  13 september  2017
16:12  13 september  2017 Source:   Read Sport

Southampton vs Watford: Combined XI

  Southampton vs Watford: Combined XI Southampton will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a win over Watford this Saturday. The Saints head into the game having picked up five points; one win and two draws. Watford are very much in the same boat, and have had an incredibly similar start to the campaign. Both sides are still adjusting to their new managers’ demands, and it’s shaping up to be an interesting contest on Saturday. Saints and Watford both boast having a plethora of impressive talents at their disposal, but just who would make a combined line-up between the two sides ahead of the weekend’s clash? We’ve had our say below. Heurelho Gomes – GK I’ve gone with Gomes here. It’s a tricky one, and I don’t think there’s a lot between Fraser Forster and him. However, despite what reputation suggests, Gomes doesn’t make a lot of errors and has been consistent for Watford for some time now. Cedric Soares – RB This one is a no-brainer, truth be told. I’m a fan of Kiko Femenia and Daryl Janmaat is a solid player, but Cedric is on another level to the aforementioned Watford players. Virgil van Dijk – CB I needn’t explain this inclusion. Van Dijk is probably the best player between the two sides. Wesley Hoedt – CB Hoedt is an established Netherlands international, like Van Dijk, and is a rather easy pick here. Watford don’t boast the greatest quality at centre-back, and Hoedt gets in here ahead of Jack Stephens and Maya Yoshida for Saints.

(Reuters) – Southampton’s new centre back Wesley Hoedt has backed his Netherlands team mate Virgil van Dijk to get his club career back on track after a summer of turmoil and is relishing the prospect of a strong partnership with his compatriot.

Van Dijk has not played since handing in a transfer request that resulted in him being banished from first-team training. "We're both Dutch so that's an advantage and we're very similar so we could have a very good partnership ," Hoedt told the Southern Daily Echo.

Southampton centre-back Wesley Hoedt has spoken of his excitement to link up with compatriot Virgil van Dijk.

The Netherlands international made his Saints debut last Saturday in a 2-0 defeat to Watford, and told the Daily Echo of his excitement to be linking up with such a highly-regarded defender.

“We’re both Dutch so that’s an advantage and we’re very similar so we could have a very good partnership. Not only us but we have three other central defenders who are really good so that’s nice. It’s always good to have competition.”

Hoedt, who signed for £15.4 million from Serie A outfit Lazio in the summer, is likely to be one of Mauricio Pellegrino’s two preferred centre-backs this season, and the return of Van Dijk to first-team contention is likely to mean that the Argentine’s defence picks itself.

Hoedt calls for togetherness

  Hoedt calls for togetherness Southampton defender Wesley Hoedt has called for togetherness after their 2-0 defeat to Watford. The Saints lost to Watford on Saturday, their first defeat of the Premier League season. Southampton had drawn with Swansea and Huddersfield and beat West Ham in their opening three league fixtures. They struggled against a Watford team that appeared far more organised and prepared for the game. Fraser Forster has come under fire after Abdoulaye Doucouré and Daryl Janmaat both scored from long-range, with many feeling he should have done better with both shots. Hoedt made his debut for Southampton at the back, playing alongside Jack Stephens, and did little wrong. Despite his fairly solid display, it was a bitterly disappointing result for the club, with Hoedt now calling for everyone to pull together to head in the right direction. Speaking to Southampton’s website, Hoedt said this: “We didn’t concede that much, only two shots on goal, but we need to do much better and improve. That’s the only thing we can do now. Stick together and improve.” “I think everybody needs to look in the mirror today.” “Everybody needs to see what they did wrong and see where they can improve, that’s the most important thing.” “Then on Monday as a group we need to speak about it and keep moving forward and improving together.” Hoedt could be given another chance to keep a clean sheet next weekend, when Southampton travel to play Crystal Palace.

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Southampton are understood to be closing in on the capture of Holland defender Wesley Hoedt from Lazio. Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino has refused to rule out a deal for Hoedt , while the St Mary's outfit are said to have lodged a £15million bid for 23-year-old, who has been capped four times.

Julian Finney/Getty Images Sport© Julian Finney/Getty Images Sport Julian Finney/Getty Images Sport

Van Dijk made his return to competitive football with Saints’ Under-23 side on Monday night, as they were comfortably defeated by Aston Villa’s Under-23s in a 4-0 defeat.

Whether or not the former Celtic man will be available for selection for Southampton’s next Premier League outing against Crystal Palace on Saturday remains to be seen.

Regardless though, Hoedt is evidently excited to partner his compatriot in a Southampton shirt.

Southampton v Watford - Premier League© Tony Marshall/Getty Images Sport Southampton v Watford - Premier League

The early signs are positive from Hoedt and Lemina .
Summer signings Wesley Hoedt and Mario Lemina both impressed as the Saints claimed their first away victory of the season at the weekend, beating a helpless Crystal Palace by one goal to nil thanks to Steven Davis’ strike. Both players came in during the summer and look to play key roles in the defensive area of the pitch for the Saints as the club look to build on a solid defensive record from the past four seasons. Hoedt, who made his debut in the defeat to Watford a couple of weeks ago, looked impressive against Palace. He led the back line effectively alongside Maya Yoshida and looks to be a real coup for the club as they look to claim successive wins for the first time this season ahead of the visit of league leaders Manchester United at St Mary’s He was calm and composed throughout the match and is a player who you can really see excelling alongside fellow Dutchman Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the defence. He looked very good on the ball and won his duels with Palace forward Christian Benteke, who was kept very quiet. This just underlines how strong a game Hoedt had and this is something which I can see continuing in the near future. Although, he will be in for a tough test when Romelu Lukaku comes to town this weekend. Mario Lemina put in a man of the match performance in the victory over Palace and looks to be a fantastic signing, even at this early stage.

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